Grant awarded to help students with their homework


Jean Shepard of Liberty UMC tutoring Ariel Robinson, daughter of Chris and Tara Robinson of Eupora, as part of the tutoring program at the church. (Photo submitted)


“Reach One, Teach One” is the mission of the tutoring program at Liberty United Methodist Church in Eupora.

Lead by retired volunteers and older church members, the program brings together students from kindergarten through 12th grade each Wednesday night to help tutor students and help with homework. Program organizers said Liberty UMC is dedicated to help reduce the drop out rate in local schools. The tutoring program is held each Wednesday night one hour before the congregation’s Wednesday Night Bible Study. Each tutoring session also incorporates a Bible lesson and a snack. The program has been on a break for the summer and will resume Aug. 17.

Liberty UMC’s tutoring program recently received a special grant totaling $1,000 from the Mississippi Conference of the United Methodist Church, helping to fund a computer and purchase snacks for the weekly program. The mission grant is made possible by the Mississippi Conference Office of Connectional Ministries.

“God is doing wonderful things here at Liberty UMC under the leadership of Rev. Rochelle Ashford-Minor, Pastor and Provisional Elder,” said Pam Simmons, program organizer. “We are so blessed to have so many retired educators in our congregation, that once a need for tutoring was brought to our attention, Elizabeth Shepard, a retired teacher from Eupora Elementary School, was ready to meet that challenge.”

Simmons said the children seem to respond well to the extra help.

“We all celebrate when their progress report reflect the impact of tutoring program,” Simmons said. “Our church auxiliaries have responded as well, and they now furnish the meals each week and donate supplies so more of the grant money can be spent to purchase computers and programs to help enrich the tutoring process. We are also appreciative of a large donation of scholastic reading books, which the children enjoy reading with the volunteers. We’re look forward to a new school year!”

Starkville District Superintendent Dr. Embra Jackson said he was very happy for Liberty UMC.

“We are so pleased that Liberty UMC received the mission grant from the annual conference,” Jackson said. “This helps us to convey that our United Methodist Connection is working. In addition, this grant was awarded to this church because of their dedication and connection to the local community. I am so proud of Rev. Minor and the members of Liberty UMC They are committed to being actively involved in their community.”

For more information about the tutoring program at Liberty UMC, contact Rev. Rochelle Minor at (662) 769-6683 or email her at



This story can be found in the July 29, 2016 edition of The Starkville District Newsletter at 7-29-16 newsletter

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