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A Way With Words and Numbers opens after-school program at MU

Thursday, August 30, 2012 | 7:49 p.m. CDT; updated 1:12 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, October 10, 2012

COLUMBIA — Parents will soon be able to take their children to MU for tutoring at a new A Way With Words and Numbers location.

The campus location will be at the Reflector, a resource lab, in Townsend Hall, part of the College of Education. Starting in late September, tutoring will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays during the school year.

This is the first year that this program will be at MU, said Dirk Downing, site coordinator for A Way With Words and Numbers.

The original idea for a new location was Ellis Library, but was later changed to Townsend Hall, located at South Sixth Street and Conley Avenue.

"We were looking for a neutral site that wasn’t at an elementary or middle school or an organization," said Rob McDaniels, director of A Way With Words and Numbers. "We wanted a site that anybody who had a child in any school could go to, a site that was open to everybody."

A Way With Words and Numbers already has tutoring locations at all 19 Columbia public elementary schools and all three middle schools. The program has established three after-school extension programs at the Columbia Public Library, the Columbia Housing Authority's Moving Ahead program and the Adventure Club after-school program.

"This program is exactly like the program at the Columbia Public Library," Downing said. "We are mirroring this program from that."

Instead of tutors going out to schools to meet only with students, parents must accompany their children to the MU location and stay while they are being tutored.

Tutoring services at the Reflector, like all A Way With Words and Numbers programs, are open to all elementary and middle school students.

"This program is open to the entire Columbia community," McDaniels said. "Any student from kindergarten to seventh grade can come for help in math and reading."

McDaniels said the goal is to start the program around the third week in September. However, some tutoring might start earlier due to the fact that a few tutors have been hired and have completed their background checks.  A Way With Words and Numbers is in the process of hiring more tutors.

A Way With Words and Numbers tutors include volunteers, service-learning students, interns and students in MU's work-study program. 

Supervising editor is Elizabeth Brixey.


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