“Don’t know much about geography.

Don’t know much trigonometry.

Don’t know much about algebra.

Don’t know what a slide rule is for.”

The protagonist of Sam Cooke’s classic song “Wonderful World” might have benefited from a few tutorial sessions from McAlester resident Grover Walker, at least where the math is concerned.

Walker didn’t have to put two and two together to see that a lot of people — the young and not-so-young alike — could use a little help with their mathematical skills.

It’s nationwide, not something limited to the McAlester area.

The need he saw inspired Walker to take chalk in hand and volunteer his services.

“Growing up in the McAlester area in the ’50s and ’60s, the times were hard, but they were good times,” Walker said. “With loving parents, good neighbors and good teachers, life was made somewhat easier to cope with.”

He said he wanted to give something back to the community that had given him so much.

It all seemed to add up: He’s proficient in math, so why not help others — not only those who need to develop their skills in the first place, but those who are already adept but want to stay on top of their games as well?

Walker, who is pastor of the New Bethel Baptist Church, is offering the tutorial sessions every Saturday through Dec. 15 at the McAlester Public Library at Second Street and Adams Avenue.

Although the sessions are mainly for tutoring, all are welcome who want to improve their math skills, Walker said.

He said he started after seeing children at his church who needed help with math and he started tutoring them.

Walker later moved th sessions to the library because of the response.

“We have helped children and adults, middle school, high school and college students,” Walker said.

In addition to McAlester, Walker said he’s helped people from Crowder, Indianola, Krebs, Kiowa, Savanna and other towns and schools in the county develop their mathematical abilities.

Walker, who has degrees in mathematics and electronic engineering, said he retired from the Department of Defense to move back to McAlester and help take care of his mother.

“I saw the need for my education and experience right here at home,” he said.

“I like giving back to McAlester after all it’s done for me.”

Walker charges no fee, but asks those who attend to provide their transportation, paper, pens or pencils.

He starts the Saturday sessions with math from 9:45-10:30 a.m. for students in the seventh through the eighth grades

That’s followed by algebra from 10:30-11:30 a.m. and geometry, which is set from 11:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.

Algebra II, calculus, geometry, college algebra and trigonometry are all included from 12:30-1:30 p.m.

Walker said anyone who needs more information can contact him at 423-5019.

“I tell students learning math is like learning English,” Walker said. “Learn the rules first and you’re on your way.”

Contact James Beaty at jbeaty@mcalesternews.com.

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