January 31, 2011

Tutor Training Workbooks and Trainer Development Now Available – Free iPads through 6/1/11

by Bob Lasiewicz, Managing Director, Crossroads of Learning

usethisimagewithcurrentlayoutSouthern California-based tutor training provider Crossroads of Learning has expanded its program of professional tutor training with the “Tutoring Foundations” Workbook Series and corresponding “Train-the-Trainer” online professional development.  “Train-the-Trainer” equips instructors to deliver the “Tutoring Foundations” Basic, Intermediate and Advanced curriculum in the classroom. To celebrate this ground-breaking release free iPads are being awarded based on purchases through 6/1/11. Click here for details.

The workbook curriculum content aligns with the online version in use by over 300 schools and commercial providers since 2007 and is extensively revised to facilitate classroom interactions. The “Tutoring Foundations” curriculum articulates with National Tutoring Association (NTA) trainer certification standards, suggested CRLA training topics, and qualifies for CEUs granted from Fielding Graduate University, a WASC credentialed institution. It was developed with and approved by Fielding Graduate University and the NTA. The self-paced 70-hour “Train-the-Trainer” intensive is integrated with regular assignment review and mentoring by an NTA certified trainer.

Developed in Response to Learning Center Requests

“In 2009 after two years of widespread use of the fully online “Tutoring Foundations” program we began to receive requests from school and commercial tutoring providers wanting to deliver the same proven curriculum with their own staff,” said Bob Lasiewicz, Managing Director, Crossroads of Learning. “Given our unique status as the only university affiliated and nationally certified curriculum, we invested heavily in adapting it to a classroom workbook format. In order to insure the academic integrity, we also developed a top-notch “Train-the-Trainer” professional development program.”

Click here to read more.

Filed under: Academic Learning Centers,Associations,College,Commercial,Community,Crossroads of Learning,High School,Training/Education

January 22, 2011

Meriwest Credit Union Sponsors $20,000 FHLB Grant to We Teach Science Foundation Tutoring Program

by Greg Meyer, originally posted in “CUinsight” on 12/6/10

Middle school algebra students on the San Francisco Peninsula will have higher test scores in part thanks to Meriwest Credit Union’s sponsorship of a Federal Home Loan Bank grant. Recently, a grant check of $20,000 was delivered by Meriwest to the We Teach Science Foundation (WTSF) in Burlingame, California. The grant, awarded as part of the Federal Home Loan Bank’s AHEAD Economic Development Grant Program, supports the Remote Tutoring and Mentoring Program.

The program matches NASA Scientists at Ames Research Center in Mountain View and other high level mathematicians together with underserved area middle school students with the primary goal of creating future engineers, mathematicians, and scientists in the U.S. workforce. The volunteers mentor students to improve their algebra skills through a tutorial program that utilizes a web-based video conference with an interactive whiteboard and audio connection. The “We Teach Science’s” Remote Tutoring & Mentoring Program allows students and mentors the technological advantage of connecting weekly for one hour from two separate locations.

“The Remote Mentoring program was created due to the fact that performance of our high school students in the international arena trailed nearly all other OECD (Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development) countries in math and science.  U.S. science and engineering degrees earned by U.S. citizens have not been keeping up with the growth of open positions in the field.” said Aragon Burlingham, Executive Director of WTSF, “This grant will help us expand the number of mentors we have and increase the opportunities for a number of young people participating in the program. We are very appreciative of Meriwest Credit Union’s sponsorship of this grant from the FHLB of San Francisco. Thanks so much!”

“We are pleased to support the inventive approach that the We Teach Science Foundation, in partnership with Meriwest, is taking to connect local scientists with disadvantaged students for algebra tutoring and mentoring,” said Marietta Núñez, Vice President, Community Lending at FHLBank San Francisco. “Given a chance to excel in algebra, these students will have access to careers in engineering and other science-related fields, greatly expanding their employment opportunities. This, in turn, will have a positive impact on the health of the communities where the live.”

Click here to read the full story

Filed under: Community,Funding,High School

January 15, 2011

Valencia 626 writing tutors help college applicants

by Kristina Rizga, originally published in “Mother Jones” on 12/1/10

Scenes from a college essay writing workshop for high schoolers.

In the hot, crowded classroom of a San Francisco public high school one recent Sunday afternoon, a student I’ll call Yu twirls a yellow highlighter nervously while her 826 Valencia writing tutor, Kate Bueler, scribbles in the margins of her college application essay draft. Yu is stuck on the first paragraph. How best to convey the skills she acquired as a child translating for her Chinese immigrant parents? Or what it would mean to be the first person in her family to go to college, especially now that her father is out of work and her family is surviving on what her mother makes sewing alterations? The highlighter cap shoots off and bounces on the linoleum floor, puncturing the quiet intensity.

Bueler and Yu are sandwiched between dozens of tutor/student pairs here at Mission High, all peering with similar intensity at college application essay drafts, or huddled together around computer screens. This particular workshop—one of many offerings from 826 Valencia the tutoring nonprofit founded by writer Dave Eggers —is meant to help low-income and immigrant college applicants like Yu, whose parents can’t afford private tutors and often don’t speak English. Since about half of the students in San Francisco’s public schools are considered low-income, and a third have lived in the US for less than two years, volunteers like Bueler can be enormously important.

Because if Yu doesn’t impress the college admissions officers this year, she may lose the best chance she has to help her family escape poverty. “For most of these kids, this is their only shot,” explains Bueler, who also interns as a counselor at an inner-city high school in San Francisco. “Many of the low-income students I work with are asked to become adults very early in their life. They are pressured by their parents to make money. And if they don’t get into college right after high school, they won’t try again next year.”

After two hours of work, Yu finishes her first essay, and the three of us move to the snack room for a break. Local stores have donated apples, dried fruit and nuts, low-fat potato chips, sodas. I ask Yu what she wants to major in as we snack on potato chips. “Psychology,” she says without a pause. “Why?” I ask. She thinks for a while, but doesn’t respond.

Click here to read the full story

Filed under: Community,High School

January 7, 2011

Whiz Kids tutoring program helping 900 inner-city students succeed

by Melissa Howell, originally published in the Oklahoman on 11/30/10

The program is a faith-based organization that partners with inner-city churches to provide one-on-one tutoring to students who live in high dropout areas.

Seven-year-old Eric Franco twisted his mouth into a sideways smile as he pondered the question that undoubtedly every adult he knows has asked at one time or another.

What is his favorite subject in school?

“P.E.,” he said with a grin.

“His least favorite would probably be math. Is that right, Eric?” said Becky Hopper, his after-school tutor. Eric nodded.

“She helps me a lot with my math,” he said.

Eric and Hopper are participants in City Care’s Whiz Kids program at Baptist Temple Church, 2433 NW 30th St. The program is a faith-based organization that partners with inner-city churches to provide one-on-one tutoring to students who live in high dropout areas.

And it seems to be working.

For the 2006-2007 school year, Whiz Kids students in fourth and fifth grades outperformed matched groups of students on state tests. Whiz Kids students performed well above the state’s “satisfactory” level while the nontutored children performed well below, according to the Whiz Kids website.

Whiz Kids this school year will serve about 900 students from 26 urban schools in partnership with 54 churches and more than 1,000 volunteers. Several factors contribute to the success of the program, but the relationship the children form with their tutors is perhaps the strongest motivator to succeed, Hopper said.

“We show them love and caring and help with reading and homework after school, she said. “And we stay with the children throughout their time here. It’s a blessing to help someone else.”

The relationship goes beyond an hour or two after school, Hopper said. Not only does she know and care about Eric, she knows all of his brothers and sisters and his parents, too.

Click here for the full story

Filed under: Community


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