by Devon Haynie, originally published in the Journal Gazette on 5/25/11
Eight-year-old Tevin Reed watched in awe Tuesday as his tutor, Kim Miller, threw a bowling ball down the aisle for a spare. “How do you throw it so straight?” Reed asked. “Always keep your arm straight,” Miller said, in what ended up being his final lesson of the year.
Reed, a Haley Elementary student, and Miller, a retired Navistar mechanical engineer, were among dozens of people who showed up Tuesday at Georgetown Bowl to celebrate what organizers called a successful year of tutoring through Fort Wayne Community Schools’ Study Connection program. The program, started in 1989 by former Do it Best CEO Don Wolf, pairs volunteers from local businesses with students in need of extra academic help. This year, it had volunteers from 35 companies working with 475 mostly elementary students.
Parties are commonplace at the end of the year, but this one held special significance for Navistar, which has been matching tutors with Haley Elementary school students for 20 years. With the company planning to relocate to the Chicago area, employees said they were not sure they would have enough volunteers to continue participating next year.
Miller, who has been tutoring for almost 20 years, said he’ll find a way to connect with Reed and other Haley students even if he can’t do it formally through Navistar. “I love the program, and I love the kids,” he said. “It only takes a few hours a week, and we have a tremendous impact on their study habits and their grades at school. I usually see an improvement with every kid each year.”
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