Dream now a reality
Many were on hand for the ribbon cutting ceremony of the "Empowering the Community for Excellence” tutorial services.
Howell "Howie" Dennis is the news editor of the Crowley Post-Signal.
Anyone in Crowley who wants to understand the definition of “persistence’ needs do nothing more than meet retired Crowley teacher Audry Spencer.
For the past year, Spencer has been relentlessly seeking support from area clubs, individuals and legislators to get her “Empowering the Community for Excellence” tutorial service up and running. And it hasn’t been an easy ride.
“Every day I have people come into my office looking for financial help and support,” said a very happy District 42 Representative Jack Montoucet at the tutorial service’s 108 N. Western Ave. location during their grand opening Thursday. “This little lady here doesn’t know the meaning of the word ‘quit.’ She’s the real deal.”
What Spencer has been working so feverishly to get, is a service that goes into some of Crowley’s toughest neighborhoods and gets children that are deemed to be “at risk” into one-on-one study sessions to help them improve their school work. Though the bus they bought has yet to be fixed to where it is capable of going to homes and picking up students (“Requires too much repair work,” says Spencer), Spencer knew that the time for helping some of these young students was now.
“This couldn’t wait,” she said.
So Spencer decided to dip into her own pockets.
She bought the Western Avenue property from her brother and immediately turned a home into a learning facility equipped with desks and computers. So far, they have over 50 students that are taking advantage of the service and the tutors consist of retired Acadia Parish teachers who staunchly believe in Spencer’s cause.
“I have an incredible support system,” she said. “These people come in and work with the students for very little money.”
One definitely gets the impression that the educators who work with Spencer’s students aren’t doing so for monetary reasons.
“We are all in this together,” said Cheryl Henry. “This is such a good thing. I really believe we are doing the Lord’s work.”
If there was any doubt about the importance of Spencer’s mission, all one had to do was look at the turnout for Thursday’s grand opening. In attendance were, Montoucet, Acadia Parish School Superintendent John Bourque, Crowley Mayor Greg Jones, Acadia Parish Clerk of Court Robby Barousse, Crowley Alderman Vernon “Step” Martin, Alderwoman Mary Melancon, Dr. Ezora Proctor and her husband Rev. James Proctor and Acadia Parish School Board member Israel Syria.
Fittingly, there also were several school children in attendance, all of whom seemed to be smiling.
“Audry is getting these children out of the projects and bringing them to a place where they can learn how to get out for good,” said Montoucet. “They have a future because of Audry.”