Image from Annual Report

When resources are scarce, it’s easy for children to fall through the cracks. Friar Michael Lasky of WestConn’s Newman Center has seen the children who can’t read and write and says that without help they face a lifetime of uncertainty with few choices. Three years ago, Lasky and a group of WestConn students from the Newman Club first set foot in the rural hills of Jamaica to help tutor children who desperately need it, and they’ve returned every year since. During a recent trip, 14 university students taught “Brain Camp,” and worked with 28 local sixth-grade boys during an intensive morning tutoring session. “A whole group of kids is written off,” Lasky said. He added that a test administered at the end of sixth grade literally dictates their futures. “And some of them can’t even read in the sixth grade.” While Lasky said the WestConn students were saddened by the situation, they can see the huge impact their work has on the children. “They had a good rapport and had the best time,” Lasky said. “Some of the younger kids even showed up early for school.”