FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – A group of 1st graders from Sunrise McMillan Elementary School in Fort Worth will participate in a pilot program aimed at helping them, and students like them, not fall behind from challenges linked to learning virtually instead of in person this school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tarrant County Commissioner Roy Brooks, who is also the chairman of the National Organization of Black County Officials, is the man behind the plan.

He says NOBCO has agreed to pay for extra tutoring for 25 1st graders at Sunrise McMillan Elementary.

Commissioner Brooks says it’s important to help these underserved students so that the learning gap between them and students from more affluent communities doesn’t become too large to overcome.

“We have put them in a position of having to try to learn from home on technology of which they are unfamiliar, and by and large their parents are unfamiliar with it as well,” he said.

Sunrise Elementary serves students in the historic Stop Six Neighborhood of Fort Worth.

More than 90% of students there are minority, mostly black, and they rank in the bottom 50% of Texas schools.

“Sunrise McMillan fit our profile for what we were looking for,” said Brooks.

The tutoring will be held twice a week and will focus on English, Language Arts, Math and Reading.

Brooks says his hope is that the pilot program proves to be beneficial enough that others will jump on board to help fund more help for students in under-performing and resource challenged schools.

Fort Worth ISD confirms the materials have been ordered and the tutoring is expected to begin on September 21.