Honoring a Friend with Edyie’s Room

 Tutoring Room to Open in Memory of Edyie Slone

Lisa Patrick

The Ashland Beacon

 

   Amy Hewlett met Edyie Slone in 2006 when she first moved to the area from Maysville. Edyie was the first person that Hewlett became close to that was battling cancer. Although Edyie lost her fight, Hewlett will honor her memory with a new business known as “Edyie’s Room.”

   Edyie Slone was a tutor in the Raceland-Worthington school system. She primarily tutored for free, except the last year or two that she was able to tutor, when the school system got a grant to start paying her.

   “Edyie loved her students so much, she would go to a chemotherapy appointment and a radiation treatment, then grab her pink cane and walk into the school,” Hewlett said.

   Even though she didn’t always feel well, Slone didn’t stop tutoring even when cancer spread into her back, blood and bones, causing her to break bones in her leg and her hip. Slone carried on because the children were so vital to her.

   Within the first year of meeting Slone, Hewlett went along with her to Studio 21 and had a “girls party” as a celebration of Slone shaving off her hair. Hewlett explained that the “party” was her first experience with cancer. After that, Hewlett and Slone started having breakfast once a week.

   “Edyie was a great support for herself, her husband and children, but never ever talked about her cancer,” Hewlett said. “Edyie, never let me know how sick she actually was.”

   When Edyie was admitted into Hospice, Hewlett got there 10 minutes before she passed.

   When Hewlett received her teaching degree, she had trouble finding a job. That’s when she and Slone started looking for a building to open a tutoring center, but everything that they looked at was just too expensive. After Slone passed, Hewlett decided to open the center in her memory.

      “Edyie’s Room” will have its grand opening Nov. 2. It will be the first tutoring center in the area.

   “The center will be focused on the students because that’s what Edyie would have wanted,” Hewlett said.

   The center is not currently a nonprofit, so Hewlett and her husband have paid for everything for the center themselves. They’ve been lucky to have a friend repave the parking lot for the center and several people that have donated computers and other equipment. Hewlett has researched other tutoring centers in Huntington and other areas, and they typically charge around $35 hourly, but she only plans to charge $20 per hour.

   “I’m not looking to get rich, but to make a difference,” Hewlett said.

   Hewlett has also been working on getting sponsors to help pay for students who may need the extra help but whose parents may not be able to afford it.

   “I want to help others because that is what Edyie would have done,” Hewlett said.

   When students first come into the center, there will be what Hewlett refers to as a “relax area” where the students can take a few minutes to decompress between school and tutoring. The students coming to the center straight from school have already been at a “full-time job all day,” and this room will be an area to put their phones away, get a drink and a snack, and listen to music or watch TV for a few minutes. The tutoring center will have a strict no-phone policy for the students so that they can concentrate on learning. The center will also feature picnic tables for outside tutoring in good weather.

   During the grand opening Nov. 2, the center will be open from noon until 6 p.m. There will be inflatables for the children, live music and food. Chik-Fil-A will provide chicken nuggets and fruit for the children and barbecue from Smokin J’s will be there to cater to the adults.

   “Edyie would have loved the center and I only wish that she could be here to see it,” Hewlett shared.

   “Edyie’s Room” is located at 700 Stewart Avenue in Worthington. For more information, call 606.922.2065.

 

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