Math Tutoring Program Draws Many in its Debut at Paul D. Camp Community College

Paul D. Camp Community College held its first Math Academy Saturdays tutoring sessions at the end of April and throughout May on the Hobbs Suffolk Campus for Suffolk City Public Schools students in grades 4 through 6.
According to PDCCC Vice President of Academic and Student Development Dr. Tara Atkins-Brady, the program saw an increase in students throughout the four sessions. “From a modest beginning with just four students in attendance the first Saturday, enrollment rose dramatically in subsequent weeks,” she said. “The majority of students attended three to four Saturdays.”
The math tutoring program offered free, drop-in tutoring and engaged time with math in a fun way in advance of Suffolk City Public Schools’ end-of-year math testing. “The program utilized one-to-one and small group tutoring, as well as computers, games and music,” said Program Coordinator Rebecca Mercer.
The tutoring sessions are part of a larger PDCCC Math Academy, which is a grant-supported, multi-strategy initiative to promote mathematics literacy in partnership with schools and community organization in the College’s service region. In addition to Math Academy Saturdays tutoring, the initiative will include symposia with K-12 educators and the provision of math resources to the community through the College’s new Library Learning Commons on the Franklin and Hobbs Suffolk campuses.
“Skills in mathematics are vital for all grade levels and ages,” said PDCCC President Paul Wm. Conco, Ph.D. “In today’s economy, so many career paths are closed to you if you do not possess basic math skills. We want to help increase the career opportunities for people in our service region.”
The initial sessions of Math Academy Saturdays were funded by grants from the Suffolk Foundation and the Community Action Coalition of Virginia. It was also promoted by Suffolk City Public Schools and made possible by the tutors and volunteers, including PDCCC students and its Upward Bound Program students.
Plans are under way for an expansion of the tutoring and math-related resources available to the community during the Saturday sessions and to implement a similar program in Franklin.
“I am very pleased with the success of our first Math Academy Saturdays,” said Atkins-Brady. “Overall, students enjoyed their time and interaction with tutors, and parents were appreciative of the service provided by the College. As with all new initiatives, we gained insights that we will use to refine and plan for future Math Academy Saturdays offerings. We received great support and enthusiasm for this initial program, and I look forward to seeing it grow to serve more students.”
For more information, contact PDCCC Program Coordinator Rebecca Mercer at