Links, Inc. supports Step Up

Published 6:51 pm Thursday, April 25, 2019

The Selma Chapter of Links, Inc., YMCA of Selma and Selma City Schools have come together to offer Step Up.

Step Up is an after-school program designed to help third graders from Cedar Park, Edgewood, Payne, Knox and Sophia P. Kingston Elementary schools.

The curriculum taught by Tihonia Hinton of Selma City Schools, focuses on building the third graders reading and math skills while also giving them the opportunity to experience the YMCA.

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In addition to the further education and recess time the students are given a free meal provided by Tabernacle Baptist Church.

“Many of the children come from underprivileged homes,” said Links, Inc. Program Chairman Juanda Maxwell. “They wouldn’t get the opportunity to be here otherwise.”

While the students get plenty of time to play in the YMCA gym, the main goal of the program is to improve test scores.

According to Maxwell, the program has been successful.

After meeting twice a week from April through October, the students at Edgewood Elementary did much better on their tests after participating in the program.

“They literally moved from level two to level three,” said Maxwell.

At the Step Up end of the year culmination program held at the YMCA on Thursday, The Links donated $1,000 to show their support for the program.

The $1,000 was distributed with $250 going to Selma High School Choir, Gospel Tabernacle, Mrs. Hinton and the YMCA.

“The Links is a community service organization and we saw that there was a need for us to have an after-school tutoring program where we could help students improve their skills,” said Links, Inc. Selma Chapter President Dorothy Barnes. “We really enjoyed working with our partners.”