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35 Chestnut Street

Springfield, MA 01103



Serving Springfield Massachusetts







Welcome to ACTS, Springfield’s only one-to-one tutoring and mentoring program!

As the new Executive Director of ACTS, I’m pleased to welcome you to our online home. We have a passion for putting caring adults in the lives of Springfield’s elementary school students.  I hope you’ll see this reflected in these pages!

ACTS has grown remarkably over the past several years and I look forward to working with our Site Directors to continue to build on that success.  We are currently serving about 75 students at our 10 locations and it is my hope that, very soon, we can fill the current sites to their full capacity of 80 children.  Could you be a tutor?  Or do you know someone who could be?  Please let us know!  

And remember, high school students can make excellent tutors too.

Working with ACTS is a rewarding experience and evidence of God’s grace can be seen at every site, every week.  It is truly a privilege to part of this organization.

Burt Hansen, Executive Director




It all began with a youth group trip from the Evangelical Covenant Church in Springfield to Philadelphia to work with Tony and Bart Campolo and their ministry in Bartram Village. The students returned home with a desire to share the love of Christ in their own community. Mary Lou McElmurray, as one of the adult leaders on that trip, contacted Major Anita Turlington at the Salvation Army Church on Hunter Place. There, in the spring of 1986, a tutoring program was started with teen tutors from both the Covenant Church and Foster Memorial Church.

In the fall of that same year, Alan Johnson learned about what was going on at Hunter Place and contacted Mary Lou to talk about a similar program in Chicago called CYCLE. Others who were eager to be involved in some meaningful outreach to the city of Springfield met and prayed together with Alan and Mary Lou for a number of weeks at the McElmurray’s home in Longmeadow.  They felt like God was leading them to develop this tutoring ministry with the hallmark being a one-to-one relationship between tutor and student.

ACTS was incorporated as a faith-based non-profit agency, and a Board of Directors was established. The first Board of Directors consisted of the following:

Alan Johnson (President) ,Mary Lou McElmurray (Vice President), David Carlson (Secretary), John Howell (Treasurer),  Ethel Dean,  Rev. Bill Dwyer and Major Anita Turlington.  Others who contributed to the birth of ACTS include Rev. Miles Crawford, Phyliss Cuffee, Girlie Davis, Sharon Weinhold Davis, Kristi Hagstrom, Linda Howell, Carol Kuhn, Peter Levanos, Christine MacGregor, Bill McElmurray, Bill Pudlo, Janet Hakanson-Stacy and Russ and Dot Weinhold.

Carol Bushman, a member of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, was hired as the first Program Director. The Evangelical Covenant Church of America provided a grant of $10,000 to launch the program.

All contributions are tax deductible

Being a non-profit corporation, all donations are tax deductible for Federal

We are a non-profit organization

ACTS is registered in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation.

All contributions are tax deductible

Being a non-profit corporation, all donations are tax deductible for Federal