Mary Wright, a volunteer at Edge Elementary School in Niceville, has been named the Florida Department of Education’s 2019-2020 Outstanding Senior School Volunteer award winner for Region I (Panhandle and Big Bend). In December 2019 she was named Okaloosa County School District’s Senior Volunteer of the Year.
NICEVILLE, Fla — Mary Wright, a volunteer at Edge Elementary School in Niceville, has been named the Florida Department of Education’s 2019-2020 Outstanding Senior School Volunteer award winner for Region I (Panhandle and Big Bend). In December 2019 she was named Okaloosa County School District’s Senior Volunteer of the Year.
“We are so grateful for all Mrs. Wright has poured into our students and school over the last ten years,” said Samantha Dawson, principal at Edge Elementary School.. “She leads a group of tutors from First Baptist Church who work with our students twice a week to practice reading and math skills. She says she is humbled by this honor and enjoys working with the children. We love you, Mrs. Wright!”
Wright has been actively involved in volunteering for the last 10 years. Beginning with an idea to provide benevolence through her church to school-aged children of single mothers, she initiated a tutoring program that benefits students in the primary grades. The program has since expanded to include any student in need of the service, no questions asked.
The program is for students in Kindergarten, first grade and second-grade encompassing tutoring in the area of Math and English Language Arts. They work on building core competencies, phonetic awareness, comprehension, vocabulary and sight word recognition. Helping students to achieve the required grade-level standards and maintain pace with the current curriculum.
“Mrs. Wright single-handedly organizes, maintains, and facilitates the program ensuring sufficient tutors for each child,” said Dawson. “Tutors are recruited by her through the church congregation making sure there is a ‘just right’ fit between tutor and student. Mrs. Wright will burden herself by taking on more students before allowing any student to go without service.”
Additionally, Wright’s program improves social skills, manners and promotes a positive connection with the student’s teacher and parents. Her idea spans an inter-generational relationship benefiting not only the students but also the tutors.