Zy-arre Bryant, 9, shows off his new backpack with his grandmother Allene Bryant, after finishing a summer tutoring program hosted by the Coastal Coalition for Children.

Provided photo

More than 20 students recently wrapped up a summer’s worth of tutoring in preparation for the upcoming school year.

Coastal Coalition for Children, a Brunswick-based nonprofit organization that serves children and families in Glynn and McIntosh counties, provided students with free tutoring in reading and math throughout the summer.

The nonprofit celebrated the students’ hard work with a ceremony Monday during which the students received certificates and decorated backpacks.

Through its Grandparent Connection program, the nonprofit received funding to send more than 30 children who are being raised by grandparents to day camp at the Roosevelt Lawrence Community Center. With an additional grant from the St. Simons Rotary Club, more than 20 children were selected to receive tutoring twice a week after camp.

“This program was established so these children would be able to retain or even gain some of the academic skills over the summer,” said Margaret Gant, director of the Grandparent Connection program.

The summer camp and tutoring opportunity also aimed to provide grandparents with a way to enhance their students’ summers.

The Grandparents Connection program provides resources and support to grandparents who are raising their grandchildren, which is a prevalent situation locally.

“One of the things that’s always striking to me about the Grandparent Connection program is that so many of the grandparents who are raising their grandchildren, and are in our program, are in their late 60s, 70s,” said Terri Evans, executive director of Coastal Coalition for Children. “They’re on a fixed income, they have health problems and challenges of their own.”

And then they often suddenly find that they need to take in and care for their grandchildren, she said.

The summer camp and tutoring helped these grandparents keep their children engaged over the summer, Evans said.

“And in order for the grandparents and the grandchildren to receive benefits of some of these sorts of things that we can do — like send them to day camp and the tutoring — they have to be enrolled in the program, which is a significant commitment on the part of the grandparents,” Evans said.

The grandparents take an eight-week class, called “Parenting the Second Time Around.”

“There’s eight consecutive weeks of relearning, or learning for the first time if you didn’t do it well the time, how to parent again,” Evans said.

In the after-camp tutoring program, called Act for Success, students worked on reading and math lessons with local certified teachers. Gant said they showed significant progress over the summer.

At the ceremony Monday, Gant said they made sure to celebrate the students’ accomplishment of completing the program.

“It makes them feel good, too, that we did this, we did eight weeks of trying to learn to read and improve our math skills,” Gant said.

Those interested in signing up for the Grandparent Connection program can contact Gant at margaret@cc4children.org.

The nonprofit is also hosting a school supply drive through Aug. 17 at the Brunswick Bailey’s Health and Fitness gym, 57 Glynn Plaza.

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