WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — Community leaders and students in a Triad city are coming together to spend Sundays at a church to help improve academics.

School on Sundays” is a new program in Winston-Salem aimed at bridging the learning gap from the pandemic and helping students find a path to success.

The response to the program, hosted at Union Baptist Church, has been great according to leaders.

They say the children are enthusiastic about getting the extra help when they come to Union Baptist on Sundays. The small groups help students get more specific attention than they’d get on a normal school day.

9-year-old London York loves reading and says that she feels like School on Sundays has helped her improve her reading skills.

The Union Community Development Corporation is putting around $750 thousand dollars from American Rescue Plan Act funding to help kids in the classroom and beyond.

City officials like Winston-Salem’s chief of police William Penn along with fire department members, highway patrol and city council members dropped by School on Sundays, because these leaders believe education is the foundation of success.

“When we look at our current test scores, we see there is a need, when we look at the levels of proficiency among so many of our kids, especially when it comes to third-grade reading, it is clear there is a need for programs such as this,” Councilmember Barbara Burke said.

Currently, 89 students are registered for School on Sunday, with almost a third of their parents participating in a companion program at the church where they learn how to better support their students.

You can learn more about signing up your student or volunteering to help with the program here.