The Brighter Futures Learning Center provides tutoring and other academic support for local students, and it has found a new clientele with the struggles that students are experiencing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

When COVID-19 began, students went from in-school learning to at-home, or non-traditional learning through the internet.

When the school year began in August, the students began the year at home before schools began their hybrid plan of having some students return to school while others maintained at-home learning.

Linda Morgan is the director and educator at Brighter Futures, located in the Second Baptist Church education building on Maple Street in Princeton. She began the service about 25 years ago and has a staff that she has been with for some time.

“We are a tutoring service,” Morgan said. “We work with homeschool students and, this year, we have worked with the virtual and hybrid students.

“We also have after-school tutoring students, and we work with preschool students for 10 hours a week.”

Morgan began the Christian School for Excellence at Bethlehem Presbyterian Church in Crider and ran it for eight years before turning it into a learning center.

“(Husband) Rick and I bought the building next to (Morgan’s Funeral Home on Washington Street), and I was in that facility for 16 years, and we are now leasing the education building at Second Baptist Church,” she said. “This is our second year here.”

Morgan worked in the public school system for eight years before beginning the Christian School for Excellence.

“When Rick and I built the second funeral home in Eddyville, I decided to stop and work with him, but I just missed education and I saw a lot of need in the community,” she said. “We have great public schools here…but there was just the need for something a little bit different, and that’s what prompted me to start and do what I do.

“Some of the children we work with need enrichment; some of them struggle in an area and just need extra help.”

Morgan said the onset of the pandemic has brought a lot of students to Brighter Futures.

“We have been extremely busy this year,” she said. “We had over 100 students in the beginning when public school decided not to open at all; they were all-virtual (in August). We used sneeze guards and masks, and so many people in the community helped us by making the sneeze guards. Second Baptist let us open up the upstairs…and we had a family buy desks for everyone.

“God was just with us. We were able to staff with certified teachers who would go back into public schools when they went back but worked with me until then.”

Morgan said that students have a variety of needs when they come to Brighter Futures, but reading is one subject where most students need help.

“Math is always a big subject,” she said. “During COVID, it’s just been a matter of families that are struggling to make it. Parents who have to work and can’t stay home and help with schoolwork with their children and provide for their families. That’s the need that we’ve met with COVID.

“We do a lot of help with homework with parents who work evenings or have long hours.”

Linda Morgan has brought her dedication to education and helping students learn and turned that into a tutoring service that has worked for 25 years. She praised her staff for helping students learn and providing educational help to students in this area.