05/23/04 — Youth council project

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Youth council project

By Barbara Arntsen
Published in News on May 23, 2004 2:06 AM

The Goldsboro Youth Council wants to help rising juniors and seniors improve their math scores on the SAT, but it needs the community's help.

The program targets under-privileged students, and the Youth Council is hoping for donations to fund the program.

LaTerrie Ward, the city's community affairs director and leader of the youth council, has found an instructor willing to teach the students at a reasonable cost.

Simon Yee, teaches graduate and undergraduate school at A &T State University, and developed the math portion of the program he will teach the students.

He taught this program, called the Program for Accelerated College Education, in Southern California.

Yeesaid that improvement was dramatic when students from higher socioeconomic backgrounds took the course. He said he's interested to see if it will be as dramatic with students from impoverished backgrounds.

"This will be an experiment," he said.

The aim is to increase the math scores of students by at least 100 points.

The class will consist of 20 students, and Ms. Ward said that several students have already expressed an interest in attending the summer course.

Principals and counselors from local high schools will review the list of students and select those who could benefit most from taking the course, Ms. Ward said.

The challenge now will be raising the $3,000 necessary to pay for the course.

The youth council plans to offer this class for $150 per student, $130 for the instructor, and $20 for the youth council scholarship fund.

"Historically, there have been many SAT preparatory programs, but these programs are often costly to the families of students who desire to participate in these classes," Ms. Ward explained. "Some programs have been available at a cost ranging from $800 to $2,500."

Letters have been sent to local civic and fraternal organizations, church groups, businesses and individuals, asking for donations for the program.

The city Community Affairs Office will develop the application, privacy forms, schedule the classes and make all other arrangements for the course. The course will be taught for eight weeks, for four hours on Saturdays.

Goldsboro High School has offered a classroom, free of charge. To participate in the program the students must meet the following guidelines: attend one of the eight high schools representing the Goldsboro Youth Council; be a high school junior or senior; meet the state income guidelines set by the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department, and provide their own transportation.

The target date for the first class is June 19.

Ms. Ward said the instructor would test at the beginning and the end of the class. "If there's no change," she said, "the instructor will tutor the student for free until they improve. A higher SAT score could put them within the scholarship range."

Karena Barnes, chairman of the Goldsboro Youth Council, believes the SAT math program is a great way for students to improve their scores.

"The Goldsboro Youth Council is excited to offer this program, and with the help of the community, it will be a great success," said Miss Barnes.

For more information, call 580-4359.