Board of Incorporators of the African Methodist Episopal Church dba SOAR Greater Hurst Chapel AME
2730 North Links Avenue
Sarasota FL 34234-7574

SOAR Tutoring Center, in partnership with families and community, is committed to improving the academic achievement of children, by providing a balanced program of academic support in math, reading and writing; arts, cultural enrichment, recreation, and nutrition.

CEO/Executive Director Rev. Keturah Pittman
Board Chair Rev. Keturah Pittman
General Info
Organization DBA
Seed of Academic Resources Program (SOAR)
SOAR Greater Hurst Chapel AME
Supported Organization None
Former Names
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 1914
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Exempt 0
State Registration No 0
Financial Summary
Note: Revenue includes the value of in-kind contributions/donations
IRS Letter of Determination
IRS Letter of DeterminationView
Other Documents
Impact Statement

The high dropout rate, and below grade level performance of  economically disadvantaged students, and students of color are well documented. In response, Greater Hurst Chapel AME Church implemented a  community-based tutorial site that focus intensively on improving educational outcomes for at risk students by offering extended learning programs that complement the regular school day.

We are very proud to report the following accomplishments from the past year, all which were possible thanks to our generous supporters.

  • The major focus has been on academic performance. We engaged 30 K-4 students in direct instruction and project - based learning. The results have been improved classroom participation, better grades and higher academic achievement, homework completion with better quality and increased parental involvement.
  • We also focused on improving the student’s social and developmental challenges such as social skills, self-esteem and self concept issues. The outcomes have been, decreased behavior problems, improved social and communication skills, better attitude and feeling toward school and self, better relationship with peers , teachers and increased self-confidence and self esteem.
  • We finalized the design and implementation of the after school math curriculum. This curriculum will be used for volunteers, inexperienced teachers, college students needing field experience and high school students needing community service hours toward scholarships.
  • Collaborated with the city of Sarasota and Thorning Little Architectural Firm to develop plans for remolding, and expansion of space for SOAR’s building.


  • Remodel the SOAR facility to meet daycare standards (Section V11-602(g))
Needs Statement

From 2004 - 2014, Greater Hurst Chapel A.M.E. Church, as a by-product of their responsiveness to the community educational needs, operated the SOAR Tutoring Center. It provided tutoring service to students placed at risk of academic failure due to poverty, lack of parental support, reduced opportunities to learn and other socioeconomic and academic factor.

The SOAR program operates in a facility that is in dire need of renovation or replacement. It has limited space, numerous safety code violation and other deficiencies. The program has become an anchor for connecting the educational infrastructure that improves the high school graduation rate for the Newtown students. Without substantial building improvements, the program faces closure.

The preliminary planning for the renovation of the SOAR building accomplishments include:

Phase 1: Rezoning of the property from RSF-4 to CBN

Phase 2: Floor plans and specification produced by WM. Thorning Little, Architect, P.A. (pro bono)

Phase 3: Estimates by Ellis Enterprise Construction & Development, Inc.,

The initial construction cost for the proposed addition and renovation of the SOAR building is $265,750.00.

The benefits of an educational facility located in the Newtown Community are substantial. The benefits include:

  • Diminishing the issue of inacessibility of transportation to high quality after school programs out side of the neighborhood.
  • An adequate facility in the community for youth activities during out- of- school time.
  • A center for resources and hands on opportunities for parents, to acquire skills to assist their children: the primary teacher in the child’s life

  • Alleviate the lack of affordable high-quality tutoring services in the community.
  • Provide a low stress environment for the most vulnerable population.
  • Give community residents a place to build positive relationships and reconnect with young people.
  • Provide self help opportunities in the community.
Background Statement

Greater Hurst Chapel A.M.E. Church is an integral part of the Newtown Community, an urban low social-economic predominately African American Community. The community experiences a high level of unemployment, poverty and crime. These risk factors are directly correlated with educational attainment and academic success.

Many children are raised by grandparents who are incapable of providing academic assistance while others live with one parent, who is either too young, too busy, or too inexperienced to provide necessary discipline at a crucial time for their children’s academic success. The majority of the children enter school solely disadvantaged and become high school drop outs.

In response to this pressing concern, Greater Hurst Chapel A.M.E. Church launched SOAR, in 2004 to meet the educational needs of the most vulnerable youth. SOAR began in an old building with $2,040.75 start up fund and a volunteer staff. One year later it became a participating site for the 21st Century Learning Center and was awarded Florida 21st CCLC Shining Star Volunteer Award.

SOAR received a grant from the Community foundation in 2006 for playground equipment and the health and fitness benefits are endless. SOAR was also approved for the Child Care Food program in 2006.

In 2007, The curriculum was the main focus. A research-based reading program (SRA) and the enVision math program were implemented. Grants from the community foundation funded manipulatives, reading and math materials for the curriculum.

In 2008, a partnership with The First Baptist church addressed some of the building’s physical needs.

A community tutor training component initiated in 2010 made a huge impact on the program.

Since inception more than 300 students have attended the program. 95% of the students left the program achieving at or above grade level.

In spite of building challenges, SOAR has enjoyed a significant growth within the last ten years and is having a positive impact in the community.

Areas Served
Areas Served
Areas Served Comments Students in Sarasota, FL 34234, the Newtown CRA District, students who attend any Sarasota County school. 
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Education
Secondary Org Type Education
Tertiary Org Type Education
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President

First and foremost, the most challenging obstacle facing S.O.A.R. is our facility.  We are in dire need of funding to upgrade the facility to meet city code.  This free after school program depends solely on the generosity of others.

Our success at SOAR continues to soar. Our students receive individualized instruction in math, reading, writing, science, etc. After conferring with teachers at some of our feeder schools, the vast majority of our SOAR students have found success in the classroom, both academically and behaviorally. FCAT scores improved, non-readers became competent readers and students’ self-esteem improved. Basic computation and number sense skills also improved.

My volunteer services in the after after school program are usually in the background. I attend meetings where funding is a possibility. I do research to seek funding. I also consult with Mrs. Paulk, the executive director, to inquire about other needed materials or resources that I can acquire to keep the program operating successfully.

Hugh Yancy, Jr.

President of Stewart Board

Statement from the CEO/Executive Director

Project SOAR a ministry of the Greater Hurst Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church, provides a curriculum based tutorial program in the areas of reading, math and science to inner city youth of the Sarasota community.


The program is administered by highly qualified professionals, who are committed to the mission and the youth they serve. In an effort to provide optimum assistance to the students our teachers make a conscientious effort to stay in contact with the students’ classroom teacher. As a results of this we have received positive feedback from the teachers in our feeder schools that they have observed a change in attitude, classroom performance and grade improvement from the participants in the SOAR program.


Our program is designed to provide a pre-test for the prospective participants. This test helps to determine areas of weakness in the designated tutorial areas. And based on these results our tutors develop an action plan for each participant, that is followed throughout the given school year.

The SOAR curriculum provides each student an opportunity to participate in:

  • Small group interaction
  • One on one service if needed
  • Tutoring and home work assistance
  • Four day (12 hours) week

Based on the consistency of the identified students attendance and active participation in the program,they perform on and above grade level.

Rev. Keturah Pittman, Pastor


Seed of Academic Resources (S.O.A.R.), community based, in partnership with the 21CLC, offers homework assistance and tutorial service to 30, K-4 students after school. The primary goal of S.O.A.R is to improve the academic achievement level of educationally disadvantaged children. The program runs from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and corresponds with the Sarasota schools calendar. It is located in the proximity of the targeted population and in walking distance for many.

S.O.A.R ‘s curriculum is based on FL standards and objectives. It combines direct teaching with indirect instruction. The program is staffed by a volunteer director, 4 certified teachers and volunteers. It is open to college students who are education majors and wanting field experience and volunteer high school students needing community service.

SOAR provides a safe haven for children to learn and socially interact with others in a supervised environment.
Budget $40,000
Category Education, General/Other Afterschool Enrichment
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served At-Risk Populations Children Only (5 - 14 years) Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent
Short Term Success

Improved word decoding skills and reading comprehension

Mastery of math computation and problem solving skills

Decreased behavior problems and increased in attitude and self esteem

Long Term Success

Children show improved academic performance in subjects that require reading comprehension and writing.

Children increase language arts skills.

Children will cope with peer pressure and make good decision.

Children will graduate from high school.

Program Success Monitoring

Improved academic performance as measured by achievement test, grades and report cards

Attendance as measured by attendance records

Better attitude toward school as measured by surveys and observation

Decreased negative behavior as measured by school suspensions and referrals

Program Success Examples

Positive report of program by Florida State Department of Education evaluation team

Testimonies from parents and students

Positive comments by the superintendent of Sarasota County schools

A waiting list for service

Program Comments by Organization

Newtown children are bused throughout the Sarasota County school district, and when they return home each afternoon, there are no positive opportunities in their own neighborhood for their educational needs. The lack of skilled parents to assist with homework and resources to complete assignments, contribute to school failure.

To ensure, that children at risk of school failure, have the opportunity to graduate from high school, SOAR’s strategy supports the Sarasota County Schools in its effort to improve academic performance in the early grades.

The program’s vision, mission, goals and objectives were clearly communicated to the parents, students, teachers, and the community.

Collaboration with the specialists from Sarasota County Schools helped us to develop a challenging curriculum that combines direct teaching with indirect instruction, such as computer use, and hands - on math and science projects. Volunteers were used for the non teaching duties, such as snacks, physical activities, play ground supervision and homework assistance. `

With academics being the main focus, we assess student progress in math, and reading in the SOAR program and collect achievement data from the regular school program. To help the students achieve high academic performance, we maintained an experienced, highly qualified, stable staff.

CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Rev. Keturah Pittman
CEO Term Start Oct 2012
CEO/Executive Director Email

Rev. Keturah D. Pittman

Educational Background

  • Certified Corrective Therapist, Tuskegee Veterans Hospital (Summer 1965)
  • B.S. Florida A&M University (1966)
  • M.Ed. Florida A&M University(1980)
  • Further Study Columbia Theological Seminary


  • 1966-1968- Instructor Florida Memorial College
  • 1969-1980-Instruction Campbell Park Elementary School St. Petersburg, Florida
  • 1985-2000 Adjunct Academic Advisor St. Petersburg Junior College (Part time)
  • 1980-2004-Director of Guidance, St. Petersburg High School, St. Petersburg, Florida
  • 1999-2012-Pastor St. Mark AME Church, St. Petersburg, Florida
  • 2012-Present-Pastor Greater Hurst Chapel AME Church, Sarasota, Florida

Community Involvement

  • United Way Allocations Committee
  • Board of Directors Happy Workers Day Center
Former CEOs/Executive Directors
Senior Staff
Ms. Odessa Butler Lay Person
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 4
Part Time Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % 100
Professional Development Yes
Contractors 0
Volunteers 2
Management Reports to Board Yes
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation No
First Baptist Church Main Street
City of Sarasota
Sarasota School District 
Boys and Girls Club
Thorning Little Architect Firm 
External Assessments and Accreditations
Awards & Recognition
Florida 21st CCLC Shining Star Volunteer AwardFlorida Department of Education2008
Certificate of Appreciation Florida 21st CCLCSarasota County Schools2008
Risk Management Provisions
Government Licenses
Organization Licensed by the Government No
Fundraising Plan No
Communication Plan No
Strategic Plan No
Strategic Plan Years N/A
Strategic Plan Adopted 0
Management Succession Plan No
Continuity of Operations Plan No
Nondiscrimination Policy No
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
Policies and Procedures No
Management Comments by Organization

Jacqueline Paulk (volunteer), managers the day to day operation of the program. She is more than well qualified to manage such a demanding program. Her managerial skills far outweighs many that I have had the pleasure to work with. Above all she is prepared academically, and continues to engage in continuing education courses so that she may stay abreast of the ever changing modalities in teaching today’s student the rudiments of, reading, math and science. Her calm spirit has gained her the respect of many persons in the greater Sarasota community.

She has accomplished many things with very little to work with. Our facility is perhaps her greatest challenge, yet she has managed to have many successes in an environment that the city code enforcers say must be upgraded.

Rev. Keturah Pittman

Other Documents
Other Document 2
EIN Letter
Board Chair
Board Chair Rev. Keturah Pittman
Board Term Oct 2016 to Oct 2019
Board Chair Email
Board Members
Board Members
Ms. Janice Curry Uniroyal Engine
Mrs. Rosalind Hill Retired
Ms. Nancy Jenkins Retired
Rev Keturah Pittman Community Volunteer
Ms. Deborah Wimberly Retired
Mr. Hugh Yancy Jr.Retired
Constituency Includes Client Representation No
Board Ethnicity
African American/Black 6
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 0
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Gender
Male 1
Female 5
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 1
Board Term Limits 99
Board Orientation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 12
Board Meeting Attendance % 90
Board Self-Evaluation No
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Board Conflict of Interest Policy No
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 20
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions 90
Standing Committees
Academic Affairs
Governance Comments by Organization

The SOAR program established its own board which is charged with a defined set of governance responsibilities. This allows for recruiting members from out side of the church with the needed expertise and experience. One of our primary focuses is to reach out to young college men.  We are presently designing a strategy to work with colleges in our area to recommend students who are willing to serve as a member of the board or as volunteers, mentors/role models to some of our participants.

Current Year Projections
Tax Year Start Month Aug
Tax Year Start Day 01
Tax Year Begins 2017
Tax Year End Month July
Tax Year End Day 31
Tax Year Ends 2018
Projected Revenue $8,729.00
Projected Expenses $8,729.00
Organization has Endowment No
Endowment Spending Policy N/A
Capital Campaign
Currently In a Capital Campaign No
Campaign Purpose
Campaign Goal
Amount Raised To Date 0 as of 0
Audit/Financial Documents
Financial Review
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$6,965$22,515$12,739
Administration Expense$2,086$2,088$2,089
Fundraising Expense$0$0$0
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.551.071.33
Program Expense/Total Expenses77%92%86%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$0$0$0
Current Assets$0$0$0
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$0$0$0
Total Net Assets$0$0$0
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $5,000Contributions, gifts, grants $26,277Contributions, gifts, grants $19,778
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount0 $00 $00 $0
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount0 $00 $00 $0
CEO/Executive Director Compensation N/A
Tax Credits No
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities------
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets------
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Organization

SOAR provides educational assistance through the midst of hardships to students who on a consistent basis face significant structural barriers to success. This small-scale community-based program is one of the infrastructure links that have positive effects on academic success, social behavior, and provides opportunities for enrichment for at-risk students.

However, the educational opportunities of the program come with many challenges. The greatest challenge has been finding a stable source of funding. The funding is scarce and the educational needs within the community is enormous. We acknowledge the fact, that certified teachers are the most important component of the program. Therefore, all funds are allocated to the staff salaries of the operating cost. The remainder of the operating cost is subsidized by small grants and volunteers from the church and community.

The facility and the finances that it takes to continue providing a free quality after school tutorial program for inner city youth is by far the greatest challenges this outstanding program face. However the opportunity to be considered for grants of any size is the key to upgrading the present facility to minimum city code standards or ultimately building a state of the arts facility that would allow us to service more than the 30 students that we presently serve. We are indeed addressing this by seeking grants and personal gifts to offset any shortages that we presently have as well as to meet our vision for the future.

Submitted by:

Rev. Rev. Keturah D. Pittman, Pastor/CEO

Financial Comments by Foundation Financial information was taken from unaudited financial compilations.
Nonprofit Board of Incorporators of the African Methodist Episopal Church dba SOAR Greater Hurst Chapel AME
Address 2730 North Links Avenue
Sarasota, FL 34234 7574
Phone 941 355-6033