La Couture club donates time, knowledge

Published 8:16 pm Thursday, March 26, 2009

Lawanda Bell saw a need, first in her own son and then in other children.

“My son was having trouble in school with math assignments,” Bell said. “I worked with him a while. I was helping him come up with the right answers but not in the way that he was being taught. I realized that he could really benefit from a tutor.”

Bell is the youth coordinator at the Christian Love Center in Troy and realized, too, that other children could benefit from a tutorial program.

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“I started looking for someone who could help me find some Troy University students who would be willing to donate their time to help tutor children,” Bell said. “Jamal Smith is an assistant coach at Troy University and he offered to help.”

The help came first in the way of university students, Larry Spikner and Frederick Moore.

“They are guys that are part of a group at Troy University known as La Couture and they were willing to come over and work with the children,” Bell said. “Then, we were able to get the young women members of La Couture Fashion Club involved.”

The club of 30 coeds participates in fashion shows as a way of demonstrating their uniqueness and individuality.

“We want to show others that each person is unique and that uniqueness can be expressed by what we wear but always keeping in mind our individual self-respect,” said. Christi Wines, club president.

The La Couture Fashion Club has selected the tutorial program at the Christian Love Center as its philanthropy. The club members rotate sessions with the students to accommodate their classes at the university and their busy schedules.

“We enjoy working with the children and feel like what we are doing is really worthwhile,” Wines said.

The tutorial program that started because of the need of one child has quickly grown to 13 young people and the telephone is ringing.

“As parents are hearing about the program, they realize that it could be of help to their children that are having problems in school,” Bell said. “Right now, we have one tutorial class that meets from 4:30 until 5:30 on Tuesday afternoons but we’re going to add another class because there is so much interest.”

The tutorial classes are free and the young people who teach the classes do so without any monetary compensation.

The children who attend are being tutored in math and reading but instruction is available for all subjects.

“We’ve found that reading is one of the greatest needs,” Bell said. “We want our program to be an encouragement for the children to read more and we believe that it will.”

Bell said she also knows that the children who participate in the tutorial program will be better prepared to be successful in school.

“The Christian Love Center is not a daycare center,” she said. “We are a community youth development center and our purpose is to provide a place for learning and growth in a Christian and loving environment.”

For more information about the Christian Love Center’s tutorial program, call 566-5210.