PONTOTOC, Miss. (WTVA) - An afterschool program hopes to resume at Pontotoc Middle School with funding from outside sources.
With the help of the Performance Enrichment Program, students at the school saw significant improvement in their studies.
"Learning math, doing the perimeter area and all that kind of stuff by racing, running and all sorts of things in that nature," said student John Fleming.
"It brought my MCT scores from advanced proficient to advance advanced," added student Kallie Morris. "[Plus], I'm in pre-algebra this year."
Older students who help mentor the 5th and 6th grade students said progams such as PEP are beneficial in a number of ways.
"It gets them excited about learning at a young age," added college student Lydia Harding. "They can keep that with them throughout all of their school life."
"[The] tutoring program allows us to sit down with two or three people and help them with what they're struggling with," added college student Kari Stephens. "Therefore, it helps their grades and their skills improve."
For those that have donated their time in the Performance Enrichment Program, they said one of the keys to success is to have a very low student-to-tutor ratio — five students for every tutor who's volunteering.
"The tutors never had any more than five students at a time," added Jacqueline Shirley, teacher/coordinator of PEP. "Some tutors in the afternoon, they would partner together and play different kind of games and things like that."
The principal at Pontotoc Middle School said once PEP returns, the students who need a little extra help with their studies will be able to flourish.
"Our students who are on the receiving end of enrichment tutoring also talk about their excitement knowing that on Tuesday and Thursday afternoon the enrichment tutors were coming," said principal Mitzi Moore.
Local business leaders said PEP is a worthwhile investment for the future.
"Our investment in this is to try and build that workforce," added Bill Renick, WIA division director with Three Rivers Planning & Development District. "Mississippi and this area are going to need [that] in those 10-15 years down the road."
So for now, the 12-week PEP is awaiting community support before it can help the next wave of students.
Renick said the program takes about $12,500 per semester to fund and operate.
The school did receive an award in education at the 10th annual Governor's Awards for outstanding school community partnership.