Dothan, AL - It doesn't take much persuading to get these kids to do their homework.
“They come automatically. It's engrained that we go to snack, we go to homework, and then we can play,” said Project Learn coordinator Tammy Ortego.
As part of that project, The Wiregrass Boys and Girls Club has provided certified teachers to help students make the grade for the past two years.
“She gives me math pages and stuff to do, and it helps me with the things I'm struggling with,” said Julianna Ortego, 9.
It really does seem to be helping.
“In the last two years we've had a student go from not wanting to be here. Bad behavior at school. Bad behavior here. Not wanting to do homework. Now he's one of our model students this year,” said Tammy.
That's just one of the success stories.
Sixty-six percent of the students are improving. Twelve percent are making A’s, and only 22 percent are making C’s and D’s.
Any student making below a B heads to Target Tutoring until their grades improve.
With the adoption of common core standards, parents are happy to have the extra help after school.
“The new math that came out through everybody. The parents don't know anything about it. It's a new way of thinking and we're able to follow it,” said Tammy.
You may wonder how they're getting kids excited about homework. One word: Prizes.
“You could be a staff for the day and they give you a whistle. And you get to walk around a be a staff,” said Julianna.
Her brother, Anthony said, “I was the only one last year to get 275 points, and I got the grand prize. The Wii.”
There are a little more than one hundred kids in the program. They’re expecting more to join next year. That means leaders are looking for more teachers and more money.