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Carrie Long at the Learning Center in Hartselle, a tutoring service she runs on U.S. 31 South.
Daily photo by Carrie Long
Carrie Long at the Learning Center in Hartselle, a tutoring service she runs on U.S. 31 South.

Hartselle's education secret
Learning center has helped
more than 500 area students

By Deangelo McDaniel
dmcdaniel@decaturdaily.com 340-2469

HARTSELLE — Rose Moore believes a lot of parents may be in the situation she was in with her daughter about a year ago.

"I was trying to tutor her, and it was interfering with our mother-daughter relationship," Moore said.

She said an answer to her prayers came when she enrolled her daughter, a student at Hartselle Junior High, at The Long Learning Center.

"She went from failing math to a 'B' and 'C' student," Moore said.

The center has been at Tanner Heights Shopping Center on U.S. 31 since November 2002.

More than 500 students and some teachers working on advanced degrees have come through the doors.

"It's been an absolute blessing to be in this community and to have helped so many students," said owner Carrie Long, who has a master's degree from Auburn University.

"This is my dream, my destiny," the former General Motors engineer said.

There is no shortage of parents to give testimonials about the center's importance to Hartselle.

Lauri Boardman, who is graduating from college this month with a special education degree for K-6 students, enrolled her son to help with his reading skills.

The son, a third-grader at Barkley Bridge Elementary, was reading at a kindergarten level.

"He's now reading at a fourth-grade level," Boardman said.

Boardman, like Moore, said she found it difficult trying to tutor her son.

"He put up a wall because he wanted me to be mother," she said. "I wanted him to do one thing, and he did another."

Boardman said a friend recommended that she try the learning center. Her son, Austin, has no regrets about his mother's decision.

"It helped me real good with reading," he said. "It was really fun here because the teachers were so nice."

Long's tutors are certified teachers with master's degrees. Most of them are Hartselle City Schools employees.

The center has helped students with everything from math and reading comprehension to foreign languages.

In March, she helped students who were part of a fourth-grade SAT study group at Barkley Bridge Elementary.

Long tries to communicate with the students' teachers through counselors at school sites.

"The schools have been wonderful," she said. "Our goal is not to go outside what students are doing in school but to help them."

Long said her greatest satisfaction is seeing students move from one learning level to another.

"It changes that child's confidence and ultimately changes their future," she said.

Moore agrees. She said her daughter has a mild case of attention deficit disorder. She has an individualized education program at school.

"By coming to the center, she is able to continue her education and not lose what she has learned," Moore said. "My daughter has a learning disability, but because she comes here, she is able to stay in regular classes. This does so much for her confidence."

And there is no more frustration between mother and daughter.

"That is gone," Moore said. "I can remember times when I was so frustrated I would do the work for her because that was easier. I don't do that anymore. She comes here and does her own work."

Long has worked with college students and teachers pursuing advanced degrees, but the bulk of her students are K-12. Tutoring sessions are $22 per hour plus an annual registration fee of $20.

"I always tell the parents if they are not pleased, I'll refund their money," Long said.

There have been no requests for refunds.

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