ANTIOCH, Calif. (KGO) -- The push is on in Antioch to help low-income students get the tutoring they need, and the community is stepping up.
"I really like this place, and it makes me happy that I learned a lot of stuff and people helped me with stuff I didn't get," said Bruno Perez, before taking to the stage at a fundraiser in support of the RR Learning Center on Saturday.
"The most interesting thing I learned here is doing my homework and staying focused, and it's a lot of fun being here," said the fifth-grade student, preparing to read a speech in front of the crowd.
He's one of the dozens of students the tutoring program has helped over the past year.
"I'm going into the second grade, and I'm kind of nervous because I'm going to have new friends and have to learn new stuff," said Elijah Makinano, who's getting the support he needs at the center. "I learned words and math and all that kind of stuff."
The program was born out of the pandemic and started as a pilot last summer.
"We did it for three months. It was a huge success. We had 99% of the kids complete it," said Sandro Trujillo, director of the RR Learning Center.
The focus is on getting students caught up in reading comprehension and math.
"We have kids that are reading at second-grade levels that are in the fourth grade, so that's been a real challenge, and we have kids in junior high reading at an elementary level," said Trujillo, adding they're hoping to offer the program year-round. "To run this program we need about $50,000 a year. That's what we need for the year."
The center is turning to the community to help raise those funds.
"We've got people who've decided to come in businesses in the area that have decided to invest and we're just trying to fundraise," Trujillo said.
Antioch's very own rapping math teacher, Jordan Orosco showed his support by making an appearance at Saturday night's fundraiser. A video of him rapping recently went viral and now he's lending his voice.
"Kids need one-on-one tutoring, as a teacher I know that," Orosco said. "It can be really expensive and when they said it was free and for low-income students, I said absolutely."
As for Bruno, he hopes his speech helps motivate more students.
"They'll be inspired and do their work, and I hope people will get good grades and be happy where they are," he said.
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