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Free Online Tutoring Can Prepare Our Students

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By Reverend Dr. Floyd Flake, Senior Pastor, Greater Allen Cathedral of New York, Former Member of Congress, President of Wilberfore University (retired)

Rev. Floyd Flake
Tough economic times like those confronting the nation and the world demand increased skills, heightened awareness of the importance of education, and a personal focus to work in unusual circumstances.  For many, the time to prepare for the economic downturn was several years ago.  It does you no good to look for fire insurance when the fire engines are in front of your house fighting a fire.  At that point, the fire is no longer a possibility; it is a reality.

But for our children, the time to prepare for the coming global economic challenges is right now.  Those who succeed in a competitive global marketplace are those that have shunned excuses, embraced change, and identified tools and resources at their disposal to give them a real educational advantage. 

Disproportionately, African American and Hispanic students languish in many of the nation's most troubled academic settings.  Amazingly, there are surprising opportunities for those students in America's toughest schools.  Tragically, much of the conversation around No Child Left Behind (NCLB) has been corrupted by the politics of personality and party.  So while talking heads have engaged in an academic debate about NCLB, one of its golden opportunities has been overlooked and underutilized by communities like ours that stand to gain the most, or lose the most depending upon your perspective. 

Educate Online, a company based in the nation's model Empowerment Zone in Baltimore, has been working with families, communities, and educators across the nation to provide free, online tutoring to students in some of America's toughest schools.  Their curriculum, support, and resources literally come to the home of every student they have helped.

How, you ask?   Educate has developed an online delivery system for good old-fashioned academic support for students.  This is a radical idea, but even more bold and daring is the fact that Educate Online puts a computer and an online connection in the home of every child it services.    Not only does the program close the achievement gap, but it also helps to bridge the infamous digital divide in communities where it is most gaping.  The computer is a necessary tool for parents and students to engage one of the world's most innovative programs.

I have been helping to spread the word about Educate Online because it utilizes tested means to improve academic performance.  Time-worn methods like assessment and personalized lesson plans from state certified teachers who have been screened and undergone rigorous background checks ensures that students are working with skilled teachers and instructors. 

Educate Online is specifically working with eligible students in San Bernardino who attend schools that qualify under NCLB. The sad news is that seats are limited and the deadline for the program is next Wednesday, October 1st. There will be people working in your community at schools, churches, community centers and the like to ensure that students are able to sign up with their parent's or guardian's approval.

Like those with fires in their homes, it is too late to buy insurance when the fire engines have pulled already up.  Similarly, it will be too late to talk about getting the help you need when your child is too far behind to catch up to global competition.

For more information or to register your child, please contact  951-823-0111.

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