Instructor Valencia Wright helps second-grader Jakari Boone during an after-school tutoring session at the Cameron Street apartment complex operated by the Franklin Redevelopment and Housing Authority. -- Andrew Faison | Tidewater News

Archived Story

Franklin Housing Authority students get help

Published 9:52am Friday, October 19, 2012


FRANKLIN—The Franklin Redevelopment and Housing Authority is offering free tutoring to the children who live in its government-subsidized housing.

It’s something resident Sylvia Barnes, a great-grandmother of three, appreciates.

“When I received the paperwork for this, I jumped on it to help to keep mine from falling behind,” Barnes said. “I hope, that thanks to this program, my great-grandchildren will be on track and stay on track from the beginning of the school year.”

FRHA is in a unique position to help students and parents, said Philip Page Jr., the agency’s executive director.

“We are excited about it and looking to continue to offer it from year to year,” Page said.

The program has 64 enrolled, with 34 meeting on Mondays and Wednesdays at the Cameron Street location and 30 on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Pretlow locations.

“We originally had three locations, but what we did is with the Pretlow site being larger than the Bruce Street site, we are transporting the kids to the Pretlow site, combining those two together,” said Gwendolyn Blue, FRHA housing service manager.

The FRHA is partnering with the school system and working with parents to track students progress, said Blue.

“We are not the school system,” she said. “We don’t want to get in the way. We just want to help as much as possible.”

FRHA has partnered with LeVoc Family Services and Virginia Mentoring Partnership to provide the after-school program.

“I was really happy when we had the opportunity to partner with them and assist them,” said Ovelton Malone, owner of LeVoc.

The housing authority’s goal is to help residents’ students maintain and improve their grades and make sure they have the ability to pass standardized tests.

“The goals for the program are goals that are needed in this area,” said Malone. “We are talking about an area where the dropout rate continuously goes up, where children continuously don’t meet certain measures on their test scores.”


  • Makalani

    RE: “I don’t think that your opinions would be the same if this was proposed for N.Clay St. or Crescent Street students.” Please don’t try to think for me/make conclusions about my POV/behaviors. Mrs. Evans taught me to think critically and express my POV!

    This may surprise you — but some white students also do badly in FCPS — fall behind and eventually drop out. For whatever reason — we don’t see under-performing white students featured in the TN!

    If a tax-supported tutoring program was set up on the Northside of town aimed specifically at white students but did not EXCLUDE Black kids — I would be 10,000% in favor — gungho — tickled pink — maybe not pink — but you get my drift!

    It is not the fault of FRHA — which has a non-discrimination policy — that white people — as far as I know — do not live in their tax-supported units and only black kids will receive this tutoring.

    But I will bet you $10,000 to a doughnut that if a white parent of a kid who is struggling academically showed up at the FRHA and asked for tutoring — Mrs. Blue/Mr. Page would bend the rules to accommodate that student. But we both know that the chances of a white parent making such a request are very remote.

    Educating ALL of our children shouldn’t be about color — what taxpayer $$s are spent where but about bettering our society.

    Bear this in mind — “A rising tide [education] lifts all boats!” It’s the poorly educated among us who … never mind … getting ready to digress/go off on a rant!!

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  • skooch

    I don’t think that your opinions would be the same if this was proposed for N.Clay St. or Crescent Street students. I think that would cause a different response and you would be screaming prejudice. But seeing how it is Pretlow it becomes a good use of tax monies and a great idea.

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  • Miss Scarlet

    Guess this takes a lot of pressure off the community. No need to worry about the school issue anymore, or any other issues that exist in the community that are direct consequences of it.

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  • Makalani

    An excellent program and excellent use of taxpayer $$s. Many students who fall behind get frustrated — lose interest or/and act out in class. This program is an excellent approach to keeping those students engaged.

    Society benefits when children don’t drop out and finish high school.

    Congrats to Mr. Page — Mrs. Blue and the forward thinking staff at FRHA.

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  • skooch

    Just another waste of taxpayer monies just like the tutor program that was started last year in Franklin. That turned out to be a waste of money just like most predicted it would. That program probably doesn’t even exist now so as usual someone got paid a lot of Government money for nothing.

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  • Sinoptik

    So, where are all the people screaming about the “takers” for this article?

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