COLUMBIA — After an exhausting high school basketball practice, most players would think only of going home and resting. For Douglass senior Landon Boone, however, the end of practice does not always mean the day is over. Boone is a tutor at the J.W. “Blind” Boone Community Center for the Moving Ahead Program and he often goes from helping his teammates on the court to helping kids in the classroom.
Boone started working at the center during the summer of 2007. Carrie Brown of the Columbia Housing Authority had approached Boone’s father Kevin Bryant and asked if he thought Boone would be interested in tutoring. Both Boone and Bryant agreed it would be a good opportunity to help others.
“I thought it would be a great way to give back to the community,” Boone said.
On days that Boone is working, he will go into the center at 5 p.m. and stay until around 6:30 p.m. He tutors students from kindergarten to sixth grade and though he is paid, Boone says that he didn’t choose the job for the money.
“I really like helping these kids,” Boone said. “I want them to succeed and have the same opportunities I’ve had.”
Tyrone Raybon, the program coordinator for Moving Ahead, says that Boone’s efforts are making a difference.
“Landon is an excellent role model for these kids academically, athletically and in his behavior,” Raybon said, “and we have some young boys here that want to be like him.” Raybon said that when Boone started, the children immediately took to himlike he had been there for years.
“He is just a natural when it comes to working with kids,” Raybon said. “It is obvious that Boone was used to working with a team, because it didn’t take long at all for him to become part of our team here at Moving Ahead.”
Recently, however, Boone’s basketball schedule has not allowed him work as much as he would like.
“I have only been able to go in one or two days a week this late in the season,” Boone said, “but I’ll tutor almost every day after the season is over.”