HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Thousands of students across North Alabama started the 2022-2023 school year this week. After the pandemic and being forced to adjust to online and hybrid learning, there are many kids struggling to achieve their education benchmarks and goals.

Using persistence and passion for achieving a goal is something Delores Baker knows all about. She is the owner of Baker’s Learning Kitchen, a tutoring center she started two years ago. 

“I’ve actually been tutoring for over 20 years. I started off at the kitchen table tutoring with my mom when I was in middle school,” Baker said. “We opened up Baker’s Learning Kitchen as we got more students than I could handle that were struggling during the pandemic.”

She recently opened a brick and motor tutoring center. 

“We were operating out of libraries, local libraries for two years. And then we were blessed this year with our own brick and mortar,” she said. “At Baker’s Learning Kitchen we focus on building confidence, enhancing knowledge, and then they can then conquer educational concepts.”

Baker has a front-row seat when it comes to understanding the struggles kids have faced during the pandemic. She says she sees kids experiencing challenges preparing for tests.

“A lot of time we’re grading homework for completion now instead of accuracy or not giving homework. So, now the parents really need to probably make sure students are getting their homework done and that they know what they’re doing during that homework period prior to them being actually tested on it,” Baker said.

She says math and reading are two of the most common areas where students seem to need help. Baker recommends that parents stay involved with their children’s schoolwork, ensure kids are understanding the material and that they can complete assignments correctly by themselves. She also recommends parents consider enrolling their children in tutoring when they are struggling. 

“Don’t wait till they’re failing to come to tutoring. Start them off so they can already have a routine going,” she stated.

Baker is excited to help students during the 2022-2023 school year and she is asking for a bit of help to stock the tutoring center with certain learning essentials.

“Of course, we were operating out of local libraries so we had all the books that we could use there, but now that we are in our own building we wanted to provide books for our students,” she said.

They are holding a book drive. “So we can get K-5 gently used or new books into our building,” she explained.

There are multiple drop-off locations for books including First SDA Church on Evangel Dr. in Huntsville and Champy’s Chicken on Madison Blvd. in Madison. A full list of drop-off locations can be found on the Baker’s Learning Kitchen website.