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Joshua’s story

Meet someone that you have helped….Joshua.

School has never come easily to 9-year-old Joshua. Reading and math, in particular, were subjects that often required long hours of study at home. But last year, it was as if Joshua had hit a brick wall. “Josh was really struggling in math,” explained his mom Jillian. “He actually received a 48 percent at the end of the third marking period. His class had started three-digit subtraction and multiplication, and he just couldn’t get it.”

Joshua became increasingly frustrated. Completing homework was a battle, and Joshua’s test scores continued to spiral. Jillian contacted a number of for-profit tutoring programs, but the cost was simply out of reach. The family was living on one income while Jillian finished college. Although her husband’s paycheck covered the essentials, there was little left over for much else.

“Tutoring is expensive. I honestly couldn’t have afforded the full fee that most programs charge,” said Jillian. That’s when she turned to The Learning Lamp, where Joshua received a partial scholarship. The reduced rate was based on his eligibility for the National Free and Reduced School Lunch program.

The Learning Lamp carefully assessed Joshua’s learning needs and matched him with tutor Marc Maurer. Jillian noticed a change in Joshua’s performance and attitude almost immediately. “Joshua just clicked with him,” she said. Marc worked with Joshua from March through the end of the school year, and his fourth quarter math score showed it. His grade improved by 21 percentage points.

Joshua continues to receive tutoring over the summer, as he and Marc work to close skill gaps in both reading and math in preparation for the coming school year. “Hopefully, at the end of the summer, we will feel strongly enough that Joshua will be ready for fourth grade,” Jillian explained.

The scholarship that brought hope to Joshua and his family was made possible through contributions to the United Way of the Laurel Highlands. “We couldn’t have done this without it,” said Jillian. “The scholarships definitely make a difference. And I’m sure if it’s helping me, it’s helping other people in the same situation.”

 

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