TOYS Touch Youth

Thanks to a group of FAMU students, inner city youth have the opportunity to explore the sciences and expand their thinking. Teaching Our Youth Sciences was established last year with the intent to teach younger generations the importance of science and math.

Afraid that black children would not perform highly on the FCAT, a group of five college students decided to take action. What began as a small group has grown into an organization of over 50 dedicated members.

Members of the organization tutor grades K-5 at several elementary schools. TOYS, which consist of chemistry, biology and pharmacy students, work with children around the city to help them perform well on the science portion of the FCAT. The children also receive tutoring for their classes during and after school and get assistance at the school science fair.

The top five winners of the science fair are awarded prizes from the Mary Brogan Museum of Arts and Science and Dairy Queen, two of the group’s sponsors.

Marissa Davis, president of the organization, said that the elementary students are always eager to receive tutoring and improve in their classes.

“It’s not that they don’t want to learn,” she said. “It’s that they haven’t been exposed to the different ways of learning how these subjects can be fun.”

Students at schools like Bond Elementary and FAMU DRS get the chance to work one-on-one with the college students and build strong relationships in the process.

Vice president Ariana Burgess stressed the need for a group like TOYS.

“Our peers need to know the importance of our youth,” Burgess said. “When we help these children, not only are they encouraged, but so are we.”

TOYS extends their services to help others in need.

Teachers at the elementary schools praise the hard work of the group.

“Our kids not only look at them as tutors, but also as big brothers and big sisters. They’ve become mentors to them. The group has an excellent program with us,” said Clara Hampton, third grade instructor at Bond elementary. Hampton complimented the dedication that the organization has provided for her students.

“TOYS came in and worked with the kids on their science projects and other subjects as well.”

However, TOYS does more than tutor young children, they also extend their services to FAMU students. Students outside the group can get the same one-on-one tutoring offered at the elementary schools.

Members of the group are able to receive scholarships, internships and guidance for tutoring. Davis hopes to see TOYS expand so that they will be able to help more students in need.

“We hope that soon we will be able to have an impact on many young lives.”

TOYS will be on the Set today for anyone who is interested.