Due to increasing violence in Trenton, Catholic Campus Ministries (CCM) has ended its tutoring program early this year.
The group usually works with the Martin House Learning Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting “youth and adults in graduating from high school,” to provide an after-school tutoring program for children in Trenton.
After a teacher from P.J. Hill Elementary School, the public school many of the tutored children attend, was accidentally shot due to gang violence, CCM decided to suspend the tutoring program.
According to Tom Sales, junior political science major and outgoing president of CCM, some of the students from the College who volunteered as tutors did not feel safe there after the shooting.
Lisa Giovanniello, junior elementary education and psychology major and a member of CCM who had tutored this year, said, “Personally, I thought it was time, for the safety of (CCM members tutoring in Trenton), to stop for now.”
According to Giovanniello, CCM ended its tutoring program the week directly after the shooting.
Giovanniello said that CCM stopped the tutoring program not only because of the shooting, but also because the end of the Spring semester is approaching.
She also said that in the past, the school where CCM members tutored “never seemed like a bad neighborhood.” Giovanniello said that during winter, CCM tutors had left while it was dark outside and had felt safe doing so.
She said that she hopes that CCM will be able to work with the Martin House Learning Center again next year in a different capacity.
CCM declined in an e-mail to comment on the situation, but has said that “(CCM) will be praying for all those affected by the shootings and for public safety.”