Make a Difference at Westerly Hills Academy

August 12, 2019

Westerly Hills Academy (WHA) is a bright spot in an economically disadvantaged community located 10 minutes from the church. First Presbyterian has partnered with WHA since the fall of 2000. The issues our city is facing right now—lack of opportunity in education and lack of affordable housing, for example—are issues WHA families struggle with every day.

Here are ways you can support WHA children, families and staff:

Tutoring Opportunities

  • Heart volunteers provide one-on-one tutoring for 30 minutes or one hour each week from late September to early May, delivering Heart’s effective curriculum (98% of students achieve their growth goals as a result of this program) and acting as a positive influence. Sign up for weekly slot on Tuesdays through Fridays at .
  • HELPS volunteers provide one-on-one fluency tutoring to second and third graders from 10–11:15 a.m. Monday-Friday each week from September 23 through April 30. Training is provided, as well as a curriculum proven to improve reading speed and accuracy. Students receiving the tutoring 3 times per week were able to eliminate 75% of their deficit to grade level proficiency last year. Sign up at
  • Augustine Literacy Project provides free, one-on-one instruction in reading, writing and spelling to struggling low-income students. It is the gold standard of early literacy interventions for volunteers committed to making a difference. Learn more and sign up at

Exchange Your Social Capital through Communities in Schools

Communities in Schools is recruiting Success Coaches to help students develop skills in goal setting and decision-making. Volunteers meet with a student weekly (minimum of twice a month) at an established time during the school day. In addition to Success Coaching, CIS provides opportunities to offer a job shadow, be on a career panel, review a college essay, mentor senior exit projects and more. Check out the volunteer tab at for more information.

Work with one teacher throughout the year

Spend one hour a week getting to know a WHA teacher and assisting specific students in his/her classroom.  You can select the time and day that fits with your schedule.

If you can’t get to Westerly Hills during the school day, there are plenty of other ways to get involved.