The fifth-grade tutoring team members are, from left, Kameron Blake-Thames, Sidney Manalo, Brianna Thornton and Chantel Smith.

As part of a service project for the Lone Star Leadership Council, Brianna Thornton, 11, organized an after-school tutoring program for first-graders at Clements/Parsons Elementary School.

Now a sixth-grader at Copperas Cove Junior High School, Brianna presented her idea to help first-graders write their annual book on Copperas Cove, to the class teacher Kimberly French. She even recruited three of her friends to help run the two-hour sessions.

“We wanted to help some of the kids who had issues reading or couldn’t focus that well, so we would play a game with them that helped them figure things out,” Brianna said. “We came in every day after school and started tutoring kids with all of their needs.”

French said the team worked tirelessly in their efforts to help educate the younger students.

“They spent many hours helping put the book together and spent many hours with a group of students after school helping them do the research, with their reading skills and editing marks,” French said.

Brianna also was selected to help with morning tutoring sessions for third-grade students. “I wanted to do it, because I thought it would be a lot of fun to go and help other people,” Brianna said. “I really like helping kids my age or younger.”

Working with younger students was a great experience for Brianna. “I’ve had a lot of fun with tutoring the kids and making such good friends with them,” she said. “Even when I see them walking down the hallway, they all come and give me a great big hug, and it has been an amazing experience.”

Brianna became a leadership council member in September after a teacher nominated her to attend the Lone Star Leadership Academy Camp sponsored through the nonprofit Education in Action. Brianna’s future plans include attending college in Alabama, where her mother grew up, to study physical therapy and English. Both professions would allow her to fulfill her passion for helping others.

“Being a teacher, I can help kids learn to write and to do good things,” Brianna said. “Being a physical therapist, I can help people who have back problems and things like that.”

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