Over thirty years ago, parents, educators and organizations around the county were concerned about the disparity in academic performance among subgroups of students. In Montgomery County, local civic groups called on the community to help eliminate the "academic achievement gap." Members of the MU NU Chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity responded to the call. Led by teacher, administrator, and philanthropist, the George B. Thomas, Sr., The Learning Academy has grown from 21 children and 19 volunteers in 1986 to a multi-program organization that provides tutoring and mentorship to more than 3,000 students each year.
Since 1986, The George B. Thomas, Sr., Learning Academy continues to eliminate the achievement gap. Through its signature program, Saturday School, the Learning Academy provides students in grades K-12 with a sixth day of instruction and personalized tutoring in reading, language arts, math and test-taking skills with certified teachers and trained volunteers. The goal is to help students complete high school and prepare for the challenges of college and career readiness by building academic competency, resiliency, and a life-long love for learning.
Saturday School is able to give students this customized support through its strategic partnerships with Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), Montgomery Coalition for Adult English Literacy (MCEL), AmeriCorps, Aristotle Circle tutors, and Achieving Collegiate Excellence and Success (ACES).
Unlike other tutoring programs, Saturday School's curriculum is specifically aligned with the county curriculum and state standards. All lead tutors are highly-qualified certified MCPS teachers who each the same subject areas during the week that are covered on Saturday. This means students can ask questions that may have been reluctant to ask during the week and teachers can provide that extra attention some students need to be successful.