Retired Detroit Nuns Provide Free Tutoring

DETROIT (WWJ) – With over 100 years of teaching experience between them, Sr. Alice Baker, 76 and Sr. Marie Cyril Delisi, 84 thought they still had some teaching in them.

“Once a teacher, always a teacher,” said Sr. Delisi.

The pair, with the help of five other nuns, helped found the Epiphany Learning Center at the Samaritan Center on Conner Avenue in Detroit seven years ago.

From their windows, the nuns have a view of some of the poorest neighborhoods in the city.  With the helps of volunteers, they offer one- on-one tutoring in math and reading from October to May.

“We believe one on one help is the only way to determine the needs of each student,” said Sr. Delisi. Most of the kids are thrilled to “have a teacher to themselves.”

The nuns add it’s important for each student to know they have something to offer to the world.

Tutoring services like these run thousands of dollars just a few short miles away in the suburbs.  Here, each parent is asked to make a small donation for the help, although it’s not mandatory.

“The parents deserve a lot of credit for the driving these children to their tutoring each week,” said Sr. Baker.

The nuns say the have a wish list — expand their advisory committee, see more volunteer tutors and expand their summer program.

For this pair, it’s more than the words on the page.  “We have a passion for children, we want to make them whole.”

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