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One student shows up for state test tutoring

NATCHEZ — Morgantown Elementary School Principal Fred Marsalis said only having one student show up to the school’s state test tutoring program Saturday morning didn’t discourage him.

“We are motivated to bring up our state test grades,” Marsalis said. “If we have to do it one child at a time, that will still help.”

When sixth grader Taylor Warner arrived at Morgantown School’s auditorium to find a table full of donated juice and donuts to herself, she smiled, but that wasn’t the main reason she came.

“I am here so I can get tutored,” said Warner, 11.

And Naomi Walton, a sixth grade language teacher, was there to provide that help.

“I say the answer is G,” Warner said, pointing to her answer on her practice test.

“And guess what?” Walton asked as she marked off the other choices. “You are right.”

Walton was one of two teachers who volunteered for the first Saturday of what the school officials hope will be a bimonthly event. The first day was designed to help students with English and language arts.

“What we were aiming for with this group was the middle group of students, the ones who did not make the 60 percent to pass, but have potential,” Walton said. “We will try it again, but maybe next time, we should make it mandatory.”

Shalanda White, also a sixth-grade language arts teacher, said there was another part of the program they didn’t get to test out today, since no parents came.

“It takes a village to raise a child,” White said. “Parents may have some ideas to help prepare the students for the tests, or perhaps they can learn some ideas to help bring the learning process home.”

Marsalis said the school would try the program again on Jan. 29.

“We want parents to know that we are serious about helping their children,” Marsalis said. “I think once we get that message out there, we will have a better turnout.”

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