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WakeTogether Official Launch Celebration at Southeast Raleigh Elementary

From Staff Reports

(November 18, 2022)

Thursday, November 17th marked a special day in ongoing work of Helping Education as we celebrated with collaborative partners at the official launch of WakeTogether. WakeTogether is a tutor program initiative with Wake County Public School System (WCPSS), the YMCA of the Triangle, Wake Up and Read, Read and Feed, and the City of Raleigh.

“This collaboration through WakeTogether is an incredible opportunity to elevate our aligned efforts within Wake County and further empower students, families, and educators as we all work together to recover from the many challenges and interruptions caused by the extended COVID-19 pandemic,” said William D. Gibson, Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer for Helping Education. “Research has documented that the pandemic disproportionally impacted Black and Latinx students, as well as those of the lowest socioeconomic status, partially due to the profound impact of school closures during the pandemic. For more than a decade our HELPS program has supported students as they exceeded typical expectations with their reading fluency growth. Providing this support now is absolutely essential.” Gibson added.

The launch celebration was held at Southeast Raleigh Elementary School and attended by a number of leaders, board members, and community partners from Wake County and Raleigh, and included media outlets from throughout the surrounding region. Ms. Catty Moore, Superintendent of the Wake County Public School System, welcomed guests and the media in celebration of the tutoring initiative.

“It is great to see so many of our community supporters here today at this beautiful school, and we thank Principal Fenner and her staff for hosting us here today,” said Superintendent Moore as she welcomed partners, media, and guests. “WakeTogether holds great promise for the future of our community, as we will initially focus on students in grades two through five in securing tutoring from our wonderful volunteers. And, by the way, I would like to thank more than 100 volunteers who have already signed up for training and tutoring!” Moore added.

The WakeTogether tutoring initiative utilizes our HELPS (Helping Early Literacy with Practice Strategies) One-on-One program, which enhances students’ reading fluency and confidence in reading and includes three tutoring sessions a week that are 20 to 30 minutes in length.

“Special thanks to Helping Education, which is spearheading the training of our volunteers,” continued Superintendent Moore. “This will ensure that our volunteers will provide the evidence-based support and coaching our students deserve,” concluded Moore.

Representing Helping Education at the celebration launch and press conference were William D. Gibson, Amy Mattingly, Jennie Copeland, Moné Norman, and Marie Polanco. Polanco leads training and coaching efforts for Helping Education at the Southeast Raleigh Elementary School location.