Project Y.E.S. pupils find fun in learning

The Community Foundation for the Central Savannah River Area has distributed $400,003.56 among 34 deserving organizations in the region. The foundation's Unrestricted Grants Program is primarily funded by Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tourna

Britto Tutt likes being ahead. Project Y.E.S. helps him do that.

"They teach me some things before I learn it in school, so when my class gets to it, it's easier for me," said the 13-year-old.

Britto, a seventh-grader at Collins Elementary School, has been attending Project Y.E.S. (Youth Exemplifying Success) at Shiloh Comprehensive Community Center for two years.

"Our goal for Project Y.E.S. is to mold our young men and young women to be positive role models in the community, in school and at home," said Brenda Shedrick, the youth coordinator.

"Our goal is to also reduce the dropout rate, keep our young people focused and teach them to turn away from trouble, to make positive decisions."

Britto was making C's and D's when he entered the program, but within a few weeks his grades began to improve, Shedrick said. Now, he makes mostly A's and B's.

When his grades improved, something else did, too.

"I stopped talking a lot," he said. "I'm focused more on my work, so I don't talk as much or play around."

He has become a role model for the other participants, Shedrick said.

"He's a pretty good kid," she said. "The thing is, he has a strong mother behind him. If I call her, she'll be here in five minutes."

He has also become a peer tutor for others in the program.

"I help the little kids with addition and subtraction," he said, noting that math is his favorite subject.

He is considering a career in technology, possibly engineering, he said.

In addition to tutoring, the program offers mentoring; field trips, including college visits; guest speakers; and rewards for those striving to do well.

"We get a chance to have a little bit of free time, get a break from doing work," he said. "I really like the trips, because when we get back we can talk about it. Some people don't like being in after-school programs because they think all they're going to do is schoolwork. It's not like that here."

Project Y.E.S. (Youth Exemplifying Success)

Project Y.E.S. (Youth Exemplifying Success) was created in 2007 and is a collaborative effort between Shiloh Comprehensive Community Center and the Augusta alumni chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity.

The program features tutoring; mentoring; guest speakers; field trips, including college visits; and rewards for those who are striving to do well.

In December, Shiloh received a $14,400 unrestricted grant from The Community Foundation of the Central Savannah River Area for the continuation of Project Y.E.S.

More than 20 participants are currently in the program. They range in age from 7 to 18 and come from schools in the Augusta area.

The group meets Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Shiloh Center.

Helping Groups

SUNDAY: The Lydia Project

MONDAY: Augusta Canal National Heritage Area

TUESDAY: The Art Factory Inc.

WEDNESDAY: Augusta Urban Ministries

THURSDAY: Full Circle Refuge Inc.

FRIDAY: Ronald McDonald House Charities of Augusta

SATURDAY: Interfaith Hospitality Network of Augusta

SUNDAY: Rachel Longstreet Foundation

TODAY: Shiloh Comprehensive Community Center

TUESDAY: The Southeastern Firefighters Burn Foundation Inc.