HIGH POINT, N.C. -- Wednesday nights at Greater New Hope Baptist Church in High Point are more than just about Bible study, it also serves as an education opportunity for youth.
"We're not going to talk about our young people, we're going to help them," Pastor Lovelle McMichael said.
Inside of the fellowship hall, you'll typically see up to 20 students receiving help with homework from tutors. It's all a part of the church's Greater Success Study Hall program which offers free tutoring service for pre-K to 12th grade students in the community.
"We started last year just allowing the kids instead of sitting in Bible study to get their homework done because then after they got home they didn't have to work on homework and that turned into the Greater Success Study Hall," McMichael said.
Aaliyah Byers participates in the weekly study hall as an extra session for her to hone in on her schoolwork outside of school hours.
"If I don't get it in school, I can just come here on Wednesday's and I can get more of what I was supposed to learn," Byers said.
McMichael's vision for this program is also about increasing the younger generation's educational path so they don't turn to negative influences when they leave the church.
"If we can get them knowing that academically they can do well then maybe we can keep them off the streets and from participating in crime," McMichael said,
According to High Point police statistics, 175 children under the age of 17 were either victims or offenders in a robbery, aggravated assault or homicide in 2019.
"Ultimately, in a city like High Point that's inundated with violence it's a way to make sure they find refuge, academically achieve, and know that they can do well," McMichael said.
Despite those statistics, this church see's a greater hope in the children of tomorrow.
"If everyone who's concerned about violence finds an open door to help manage during the week then we're stopping violence," McMichael said.
The church says they always looking to add more tutors to their program.