Chief Judge Lindsay H. Burton on the Hall County Juvenile Court Tutoring Program

Chief Judge Lindsay H. Burton is the Chief Judge for the Northeastern Judicial Circuit. JC/AOC staffer Michelle Barclay recently discussed the tutoring program in Hall County.

Michelle Barclay: Could you tell me a short summary for our readers?

Chief Judge Lindsay H. Burton: Hall County Juvenile Court and 3C Tutoring is partnering together to provide tutoring services for youth in grades 7-12 who have been placed on probation.  The court received a $30,000 grant from the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council to provide approximately 750 hours of one on one tutoring for youth that are identified by a Judge and/or Probation Officer. The 3C Tutoring Program is co-owned and operated by Ms. Katie Boswell and Ms. Tricia Sexton. This program can accommodate up to 15 youth and 5 tutors per evening session. Tutoring occurs two times a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays for one and a half hour tutoring sessions.  As the need arises, youth are requested to attend additional days for tutoring. This grant is expected to provide services through June 2022. Juvenile Court is excited and very grateful to have this opportunity to provide this valuable service for youth in Hall County.

Michelle Barclay: What is your best story from this program so far?

Chief Judge Lindsay H. Burton: A probated youth transitioned to a new school at the start of the school year. This youth is a fairly good student academically, but has often struggled in the past with his core math classes. School personnel informed the youth that if he completed two math courses, he could graduate a semester early.  The youth has repeatedly acknowledged his dislike of attending school along with his frustration for having to complete two math courses at the same time. Subsequently, the youth was referred to the 3C Tutoring Program. This opportunity gave the youth additional support with learning various math concepts and provided encouragement while completing both math courses concurrently. The youth was apprehensive about attending the tutoring program, but was very appreciative at the end of the semester when he received a 90% in Algebra and an 89% in Math of Finance. The youth’s confidence level not only increased, but he was excited to share his weekly assignment grades and test scores with his tutor. This youth is now graduating a full semester early, starting a new job with a local construction company, and looking forward to graduation on December 17, 2021.

Nearly all youth are reluctant to participate in tutoring when assigned, but quickly they learn what a benefit this program is and are appreciate of this opportunity. One youth said that while in a normal class setting she was often times lost in the crowd, and never received one on one instruction or support. Since being at 3C tutoring she had brought her Literature grade up from a 29% to a 70%, Science up from 40% to 76%.  She’s actually excited for tutoring every Tuesday and Thursday.  Another youth said tutoring was “like having a teacher who is there for only you.” 

Michelle Barclay: What do you see as next steps for this work?

Chief Judge Lindsay H. Burton: We have already seen the participants’ attendance improving when they are enrolled in the tutoring program.  Each youth referred have brought their grades up by one letter grade or more and many are passing all their classes for the first time in their academic career.  To continue this program, we hope we will have the same opportunity to apply for grant funds with CJCC next year.  Our hope is to continue to expand the program to all youth referred to court for CHINS offenses (most often Truancy).  There has been a gap in funding for our CHINS youth, and we are always looking for new grant opportunities to better serve this group.  This tutoring program would be so helpful for our truant youth.   We’ve seen that if these children have confidence in themselves, school attendance and school grades improve.  This tutoring program gives them that confidence!

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