This ministry is a tutoring and ESL Program in East Elmhurst, Queens meeting community needs and equipping diverse learners with an educational environment fostering curiosity and creativity.
When Valerie Reid and Aimee Williams speak about the Tutoring Enrichment Program they manage at Grace and Resurrection Church in East Elmhurst, Queens, sheer joy radiates from their smiles. They are eager to share teaching techniques, success stories, and the abundant memories they’ve created with their deeply loved students.
Valerie and Aimee, along with their program colleague Andrew Petrez, have a combined 60 years of teaching experience. They are acutely aware of the needs of learners in their community: children a few years behind the ideal reading level, middle schoolers struggling to keep up with increasingly difficult math, and even adults wanting to expand their English vocabulary to better manage their local businesses.
The three educators started the Saturday morning tutoring program at Grace and Resurrection after Valerie, who worked previously as a canvasser with the New York Public Interest Research Group, canvassed East Elmhurst and Corona – going door to door and church to church – to understand what kind of program would best suit the needs of these communities.
When it was clear that many parishioners and community members would benefit from an academic support program, the trio of educators began recruiting other teachers in the parish to meet the needs of nearly 30 local students. Saturday tutoring programs began in the church classrooms and students received age-appropriate individual and group attention in Math, English, and Science.