Saturday Learning Academy supports students

Ramstein Middle School is humming on Saturday mornings with students, teachers, community volunteers and even a principal or two who meet for Saturday Learning Academy twice each quarter from 8 a.m. to noon.

The academy has grown from six students five years ago to 40 to 50 students this school year. Originally begun by Dr. Barriett Smith, now principal of Kaiserslautern High School, to support and tutor students who were struggling in school, the scope has broadened to include students who are behind due to absences or just need a quiet place to catch up on work.

What is special about this year’s academy is the enthusiastic support it has received from community volunteers.

Members of the African-American Heritage Committee and other community members have adopted the scholastic outreach program by spending Saturday mornings tutoring, mentoring, organizing and even providing a healthy snack to the students.

Kimberly Coard, who has worked with the program since its inception, is thrilled with the new mission of the academy to reach so many students.

“The volunteers have made an incredible impact on our students both as tutors and role models,” she said. “Students chat and joke (a little bit) with their volunteers and it brings a little fun to the morning. Volunteers ensure students have a healthy break in the gym by organizing short games but also stay on task when they are working in the classroom.”

One RMS student said, “I like Saturday school a lot. It helps me have time to do my work that I probably wouldn’t do on my own. The only thing I don’t like about it is the time it starts!”

The academy is also strongly supported by the RMS administration.

“This is a wonderful example of how parents, school and community are providing our students with the support and opportunity for success,” said RMS assistant principal Martha Duncan.

(Courtesy of Ramstein Middle School)