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Local woman wins grant, donates $100K to Norfolk schools

Posted at 12:24 PM, Dec 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-04 22:56:27-05

NORFOLK, Va. - The days of being in a classroom are on hold, but some Norfolk students are about to get a dose of normalcy.

"The kids have to be motivated. They have to be excited about school even though they're not in school," said Ateba Whitaker, founder and Chief Educational Officer of Unreasonable Kids College.

For years, Whitaker has been helping kids reach their full potential through her nonprofit, Unreasonable Kids/Unreasonable Kids College, but recently she was inspired to take it a step further.

Knowing how important education is for students and the community, she applied for a $100,000 grant from Outschool, and the rest is history.

"My idea was: How about I donate this money to the schools? And then the students can take tutoring classes in the areas of reading and math to better help them understand those areas and to pass SOLs," Whitaker said.

Now ,120 students from Larrymore Elementary and 120 students from Richard Bowling Elementary will be getting an academic boost and wireless headphones.

"It's going to be split directly in half. We're going to service 240 students between the two schools in grades K-5, so each school will get 20 students from each grade level that will receive two hours of tutoring for 10 weeks in reading and in math," said Larrymore Assistant Principal Audrey Williams.

Larrymore Elementary Principal David Faircloth said this gift couldn't have come at a better time.

"It's something that we know we need as we get into the assessments, as we get into the year and we're still virtual," Faircloth said. "We know we need that extra intervention and that extra support for our kids. To touch that many children's lives is just a small miracle; it’s really just a blessing."

Faircloth credits the hard work and big hearts of Williams and Whitaker for making the gift happen.

The Scholars Advance Support Program is set to kick off in February and run through April.

Anyone with a passion for teaching looking to become a tutor can click here or contact Ateba Whitaker at info@unreasonablekids.org or 757-401-7502.