Anthony's Story

Anthony is a 5th grader at Prospect Elementary School in Elyria. He lives on the south side of town with his mom, step-dad and his five siblings. Anthony and his family don’t have a lot, but they are close-knit and the children are surrounded by love. One thing that Anthony loves to do most is play basketball, and he often takes a ball to the nearest court to work on his jump shot.

Anthony’s first few years of school haven’t been pleasant. He’s had trouble passing his classes and has struggled with self-confidence. Over the past couple of years he wondered if he was simply not smart enough to make good grades, and he worried that his peers would make fun of him if they saw him asking for help.

Because of this, Anthony stopped giving as much effort in his classes and was not doing his homework. Most of Anthony’s report cards were made up of all D’s.

Southside Pride, one of the 11 Community Collaboratives powered by United Way of Greater Lorain County, has been working in Anthony’s neighborhood and was able to help him get back on track.

One of the services that Southside Pride offers is daily tutoring at Elyria’s East Rec Center. One tutor in particular, Ms. Nancy, was able to connect with Anthony and understand his struggles. In addition to being a great tutor, Ms. Nancy is a retired school teacher who has spent a career getting through to kids like Anthony. She has a unique skill where she knows the best ways to engage with each individual kid.

In Anthony’s case, he liked that he could trust Ms. Nancy and not be judged, and he also liked that she always picked just the right book for them to read together to make him feel happy.

This trusting relationship started to change Anthony. He let go of his worries about getting help and he started attending tutoring with Ms. Nancy every day of the week, utilizing the Pride Ride bus provided by Southside Pride to get to and from the tutoring sessions. Eventually his confidence began to grow and he began putting in more effort at school and with his homework.

In fact, Anthony even began skipping recreational time – including time playing his beloved basketball – so that he could spend more time with Ms. Nancy working on his school work.

The hard work paid off for Anthony, as he recently received a report card with all B’s, and he was named the most improved student at Prospect Elementary School for the semester.

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