First Works is building a stronger neighborhood one child at a time. There is a group of men and women who leave work every Tuesday evening and head to Highland Heights Methodist Church. A part of the First Works at Corners program, they are tutors and friends to more than 30 elementary and middle school kids in the Heights community. Some work full-time, others are full-time students. Some have young children at home and some are empty nesters but they all have the same reason for being here – to enrich and encourage our children. “What about the kids that nobody helps?” asked Mrs. Bobbie, a 1st and 2nd grade tutor who has been with First Works for 7 years.
The tutors know each child by name and greet them as they arrive in the fellowship hall which is lined with tables and set for dinner. The kids come bouncing in ready to talk about their day at school, their family, what they want to be when they grow-up and anything else you would ever want to know. I met Keyonte, a middle school student at Treadwell who wants to be a fashion designer when he grows up and has a strong dis-like for sushi. I also met a budding young artist named Taynisha, a 6th grader at Brinkley Heights Urban Academy who can quote Bible verses on demand, a talent she is very proud of. After all the eating and chit-chat is over it’s time to get down to business. The kids head up stairs to begin their evening lesson, finish their homework and receive one-on-one tutoring.
Amy Pearson, Executive Director of First Works, is dedicated to keeping the program going and has made a personal connection with every child. She makes sure that every child has her cell phone number and encourages them to call her if they need anything. It is obvious these kids love First Works and after spending an evening here it’s not hard to see why. The group meets every Tuesday night from 6 – 8 pm. To register your child or if you are interested in volunteering, please contact Pastor Birgitte French at 901-452-6262.