Education Matters founder Donna Moore Wesby said she saw a need in the community surrounding Schofield Middle School; that is why she has partnered with the school to bring the Education Matters Reading and Resource Center to the campus.


The center is designed to help local students ages 14 and younger with their reading skills through the Test Our Kids program.


The program starts off students with basic tests to determine their strengths and weaknesses.


Next, the program generates a report that shows where each child needs help, whether it’s in phonics, reading comprehension, word recognition, etc.


“It lets us know what level a child is on in those categories,” Wesby said. “Then it customizes a tutoring regiment or curriculum for that child for the year. Also, parents get a password so they can look at their child’s progress at any time.”


Admission into the center is on a first come, first served basis and includes an application process to ensure each student is in need of the computer program, Wesby said.


Yusef Salaam, an operations manager with Test Our Kids, said the program has been able to provide more than 300,000 reading evaluations.


“Within 15 minutes of that test, most parents have a good sense of what their child’s learning problems may be,” he said. “It’s great that people like Mrs. Wesby are beginning to address this issue; and, hopefully, more schools and communities nationwide will follow that path.”


While the reading software is key, Wesby said the resource center’s services are multidimensional.


She said the center will also include an after-school program that will allow students to work on homework, study and receive tutoring help.


Schofield Principal Dr. Lloydette Young said the partnership will allow the resource center to work hand-in-hand with the school.


“Education Matters understands the importance of public education, and they are advocates of empowering parents and students to be active in the educational process,” said Young. “Parental involvement is a priority, so having the resource center housed here will aid that.”


A ribbon-cutting for the center will be held Tuesday at 5:30 p.m., and the center will officially open on Thursday.


For more information, call 803-507-6793.


For information on the test software, visit www.testourkids.com.


Derrek Asberry is the SRS beat reporter for the Aiken Standard and has been with the paper since June 2013. He is originally from Vidalia, Ga., and a graduate of Georgia Southern University. Follow him on Twitter @DerrekAsberry.