University of Georgia students leave a positive impact on Athens-Clarke County inmates as they visit the ACC Jail to tutor them through the Athens Prison Tutorial.
The program is primarily geared towards GED tutoring, but also includes SAT and ACT preparation as well as “other forms of education deemed desirable or necessary,” according to the organization’s Involvement Network page.
The program was founded three years ago by UGA students Kavi Pandian and Manasa Kadiyala, who realized UGA was lacking in similar organizations. It now has 25 volunteers and is sponsored by the university’s Honors Program.
The passion and appreciation in the program comes from both students and inmates. At times, the ATP finds the return of previous students, as well as assistance from inmates with college degrees.
The GED program takes two subjects at a time, one easier subject and one more challenging, for the inmates to feel comfortable with one subject and can spend more time working on the more difficult subject.
In one session, discussions might range from vocabulary to mathematics. At the end, inmates sign out, pack their materials away, and fold up the chairs, leaving the room looking untouched.
Since the program’s founding, 15 people have earned their GED. Last year, there was immense pride when the ATP held its graduation ceremony where families had the opportunity to attend and watch the graduates, in their cap and gown, speak and receive their diplomas.