The Academic Booster Club (ABC) of Mexico High School, composed primarily of parents, has a new mission for this school year. The members, in cooperation with principal Terry Robinson, are centering their efforts on assisting every student at the school to graduate.
The ABC members are organizing adults to serve as tutors during the school's already-established after school study hall. The tutors will assist a certified staff member in helping students during the study hall period called Academic Intervention Study Hall.
"Since the ABC was established last year by concerned parents and teachers, our mission is to improve academics within our high school," Patrick Kelly, volunteer, said. "As a group we felt strongly that we needed to assist students who are struggling, and the method we devised was assisting through AISH."
The volunteers are present to help students who ask for assistance.
"I have double-checked psychology homework problems against a student's text for accuracy, proofread a research paper and reviewed worksheets for missing answers and accuracy," Coetta Brashear, also a volunteer, said. "I ask the students how I can help them. I have found some are very receptive to my help, some don't quite understand what my role is yet, and some who want to work independently."
The ABC members are currently conducting a membership drive, open to parents, business leaders, retired teachers and other adults who are willing to contribute talents and skills to the focus of academics at MHS.
"It's important to have ties to community members so that they understand our struggle," Robinson said. "As a school, we want to call upon the resources to organize this volunteer effort."
Membership information should be mailed to the high school at 639 N. Wade Street, with checks payable to the Academic Booster Club. The membership levels are Helping Hands, $5; I Want to Support the Cause, $10; Making Academics a Priority, $25; and I Can Afford to Make a Difference, $100.
The members of ABC encourage other parents to consider continuing involvement in their children's academic lives that many established in elementary school.
"High school brings on new challenges, and freshmen, particularly, can feel overwhelmed. The students are expected to be proactive with getting work organized, completed and turned in," Brashear said. "This new independence can cause some students to feel overwhelmed, and what we don't want is for them to give up."
The ABC members are looking for adult volunteers to assist students from 3:20-4 p.m. each day, Monday -Thursday. The tutors can be in any area. Adult volunteers do not have to commit to a daily or weekly schedule, and there are opportunities to help on an as-needed basis.
Last year the ABC focused on collecting books for Sustained Silent Reading at MHS. The drive to find assistants for the study hall program is this year's goal, supported by the results from a survey given to parents during parent-teacher conferences last month.
More than 200 parents took the survey, with 85 percent responding that they would support a mandatory study hall if their child was failing or fell behind in a class.
"Most students truly want to succeed, but they may not have the structure to support their goals," Kelly said. "I want to see every student in Mexico High walk across the stage to receive their diploma, having pride in knowing they have achieved a milestone in their lives and that the community was there to support them."
A tutoring opportunity for math classes is already in place, with the math lab open from 7-8 a.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
The math lab also is open from 3:30-4:30 Monday-Wednesday each week.
Math teachers staff the lab, with other assistance available by appointment.