February 24, 2015

Struggling students helped by tutoring grant

By Ellen Ciurczak, Staff Writer, The Hattiesburg American

Lamar County School District students who have not had the benefit of intensive tutoring are getting one-on-one and small group instruction thanks to a grant from the Mississippi Department of Education. The 21st Century grant is for five years, with $500,000 allocated for the first year.

“The criteria for a student to qualify is getting a minimal or basic on the MCT2 or Subject Area Test or be in the lower 25 percent in grades 6-12 or be a Subject Area Test retester or meet one or more of those criteria,” Sumrall High School Principal Sheila Kribbs said.

This is the first time students at Sumrall High and Sumrall Middle School have had the opportunity to be tutored because the schools do not get Title 1 money due to their small low-income populations. “This is a new opportunity for us,” Sumrall Middle School Principal Jamie Jones said. “We’re really excited about it.”

Tutoring is offered both during the school day and after school by certified teachers. Partnership with the YMCA provides staff to offer homework assistance, character education and recreation.

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Filed under: Academic Learning Centers,Funding,High School,K-8

January 30, 2015

Tutoring program in north St. Louis to expand with federal grant

By Alexis Zotos, KMOV.com

A North St. Louis after-school program will be able to triple the number of students helped thanks to help from the state of Missouri. Gov. Jay Nixon pledged $500,000 to the organization North Campus to expand math and science tutoring for low-income families.

For St. Louis resident India Hearn, the after-school program founded by Alderman Antonio French has made a noticeable difference in her 12-year-old son’s education. “His [test] scores have increase by quite a lot,” said Kearn. “It gives my son somewhere to go. In the summer, it’s a summer camp. It’s an after-school program and not only is he having fun but he’s actually learning.”

Nixon announced a new partnership between the University of Missouri St. Louis and North Campus in an effort to boost educational opportunities for young people. “The events in Ferguson over the last two months have been a stark reminder of the specific challenges that have vexed communities in St. Louis, quite frankly across our nation for generations,” said Gov. Nixon. North Campus currently serves 150 students in North St. Louis but through the new partnership they will be able to help an additional 350 students and will expand into North County.

“Investing in kids early provides that hope which we’ve seen a lot of people lack out there. They’re hopeless, they’re angry, they feel they have not been given a fair shake so this gives them the tools to be successful in life,” said Antonio French.

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Filed under: Academic Learning Centers,High School

December 4, 2014

Spryfield’s Pathways to Education tutoring racks up successes

By Jennifer Henderson, CBC News

Cheryl Matheson says the program has had 'amazing' results. (CBC)

An after-school program in Spryfield, N.S., says it’s helping more people graduate from high school. About 200 students have attended Pathways to Education, a national course backed by government and private companies. It helps low-income students complete their high school education. The overall graduation rate for the area was 54 per cent a few years ago.

It’s in its fourth year.

“Eighty-five per cent of students enrolled in our program last year were able to graduate high school last year,” said Cheryl Matheson, the director of Pathways to Education.

‘It’s a lot different than high school … but Pathways gave me the study habits and materials to prepare me for university.’- Tayor Conran

“That was amazing. Finishing school is a big issue in this community and other communities across Canada.”

Students from Grade 9 to Grade 12 must attend at least two after-school tutoring sessions each week at the Chebucto Connections Community Centre near J.L. Ilsley High School. Tutoring is provided by 65 volunteers from Halifax universities. The centre has computers and quiet rooms with desks and lamps. Healthy snacks are donated by a nearby nursing home and Target store. Students who stick with Pathways for four years receive a $4,000 scholarship toward further training or education.

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Filed under: Academic Learning Centers,High School

July 17, 2014

Stamford teachers’ union objects to tutoring program

by Rob Varnon, stamfordadvocate.com, originally published 7/16/14

A plan to give students struggling in math a period of tutoring during the school day next year could open up a labor dispute with teachers. Last month, the Board of Education approved $412,000 from a grant to pilot the Match Tutor program despite objections from the Stamford Education Association. The Advocate obtained emails sent from SEA President Michael Arcano objecting to the use of non-union tutors in classrooms during the school day, expressing concerns about the program.

But the board voted 5-2 to approve the program, in which students who are identified as struggling in math are given the tutoring. The program is based on the Match Tutoring program created by a Boston charter school more than a decade ago. The program has recently been adopted in some Chicago schools.

The Stamford program would tutor students in first-year algebra, hiring 12 tutors who will help the students, while a certified teacher oversees them during class time. The students would get an elective credit for completing a year of tutoring, but not a math credit. They would have to pass their first-year algebra to get a math credit. Only Stamford High would get the program this year.

About 30 percent of Stamford freshman fail first-year algebra. Arcano said teachers are in favor of a program to help struggling students, but the union is against using non-union labor to teach during the school day.

To read more, click here.

Filed under: Academic Learning Centers,High School

April 20, 2014

Tutoring and mentoring nonprofit has college students helping out at high schools

by Nan Austin, originally published in the Modesto Bee on 4/3/14

Stanislaus Tutoring and Mentoring Program tutor Melanie Koochof goes over history questions with sophomore Ziare Roach at Pitman High in Turlock on Tuesday. Koochof is one of 37 tutors in the program serving 23 schools. NAN AUSTIN — naustin@modbee.com

A nonprofit group started with university students now fans out dozens of volunteer tutors across elementary schools in Stanislaus and Merced counties. The Stanislaus Tutoring and Mentoring Program, or STAMP, relies on those committed to community to spread the learning.

“I feel like this is the best way to contribute to the community,” said Melanie Koochof during a break at Pitman High in Turlock. Koochof, a biology major at California State University, Stanislaus, plans to be a doctor. She volunteers every Tuesday at Pitman’s Bridge program, taught by Danny Frietas, helping sophomores who need to make up classes. “A lot of these students are very bright, very smart, and I have such faith in them. But they need confidence that they can do it,” Koochof said. Frietas said she particularly helps these students with math.

“They’re all capable,” Koochof said. “They missed out on basic things that prevent them from moving ahead.” To get them through, she provides “a tiny crash course” in the missing link. “I try to guide them, asking questions. So the next time, when I’m not there, they can think for themselves,” she said. “When I’m helping them with a problem, then on the next problem they get it – that’s satisfaction.”

To read more click here.

Filed under: Academic Learning Centers,High School

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