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Destiny Independence partners with Rome Sylvan Learning Center; Aug. 21 meeting invites all to learn how to help kids

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Destiny Independence USA hopes to increase the access financially challenged students from East and South Rome have to educational resources provided by the Rome Sylvan Learning Center.

The local nonprofit currently tutors and mentors 33 underprivileged children and teens, acting as a support system to seeing them succeed in education and eventually their careers — all as a step forward to ending generational poverty in the area — said Janice Hadaway, executive director of DIUSA.

She said she hopes to grow the program to around 100 students.

The informational meeting on Aug. 21 at 7 p.m. aims to let people know how they can help. It will be held in the fellowship hall of Second Avenue Baptist Church at 823 E. Second Ave.

The meeting will focus on how, under Georgia House Bill 1133, individuals, couples and companies can redirect a portion of the state taxes they already pay to furnish scholarships for private schools, helping them take advantage of additional educational opportunities.

The tax donations, after being approved by the state Department of Revenue, would be put through the nonprofit GaSSO — Georgia Student Scholarship Organization — and then be distributed and transmitted into funding for scholarships.

Locally the scholarships would mean kids in DIUSA would be able to receive homework support and personalized education through Sylvan Learning Center — a certified private school. Members in the program ages 8 to 18 would get the extra after-school assistance whenever their grade in a subject drops below to a “B.”

Hadaway is asking those interested in attending the meeting to contact her at 706-766-5274 or at janiceh@diusa.org to reserve a spot.

Because of a variety of family situations, these kids don’t always have the motivating force or support at home crucial to not only achieving academic success but personal success as well.

No child can take in 100 percent of what they learn in school and just achieve mastery in each subject, thus increasing the importance of further delving into the curriculum out of school, said Angela Baron, executive director of Sylvan’s local center.

DIUSA would be able to provide transportation for students to and from Sylvan, which has an established facility and group of educators for students — in most cases, DIUSA relies on volunteers.

Hadaway said the partnership between her organization and Sylvan reflects a bridging of the gap between kids in poverty and the resources that will help lead them out of it.

“We cannot afford not to be investing in them,” said Baron. “It takes a community to raise a child.”