July 30, 2011

Tutors strike at low grades

by Devon Haynie, originally published in the Journal Gazette on 5/25/11

Eight-year-old Tevin Reed watched in awe Tuesday as his tutor, Kim Miller, threw a bowling ball down the aisle for a spare. “How do you throw it so straight?” Reed asked. “Always keep your arm straight,” Miller said, in what ended up being his final lesson of the year.

Reed, a Haley Elementary student, and Miller, a retired Navistar mechanical engineer, were among dozens of people who showed up Tuesday at Georgetown Bowl to celebrate what organizers called a successful year of tutoring through Fort Wayne Community Schools’ Study Connection program. The program, started in 1989 by former Do it Best CEO Don Wolf, pairs volunteers from local businesses with students in need of extra academic help. This year, it had volunteers from 35 companies working with 475 mostly elementary students.

Parties are commonplace at the end of the year, but this one held special significance for Navistar, which has been matching tutors with Haley Elementary school students for 20 years. With the company planning to relocate to the Chicago area, employees said they were not sure they would have enough volunteers to continue participating next year.

Miller, who has been tutoring for almost 20 years, said he’ll find a way to connect with Reed and other Haley students even if he can’t do it formally through Navistar. “I love the program, and I love the kids,” he said. “It only takes a few hours a week, and we have a tremendous impact on their study habits and their grades at school. I usually see an improvement with every kid each year.”

To read the full story click here.

Filed under: Community,Leadership

July 22, 2011

Music program adds tutors, mobile studio

by Joy Juedes, originally published in Redland Daily Facts on 5/18/11

Music Changing Lives is expanding its reach with tutoring by university students and a grant for a mobile studio.

Music Changing Lives, a nonprofit based at the Redlands Community Center, received a $8,291 grant May 12 from the Community Foundation to fund the expansion of their music program, according to Music Changing Lives CEO Josiah Bruny. Music Changing Lives began working with the financial aid office at UC Riverside to hire federal work study students as tutors for local students, according to Bruny. “If they’re enrolled in Music Changing Lives, they get tutoring, music, art, all in one package,” he said.

Free tutoring is available for for public school students in fourth through 12th grades in San Bernardino and Riverside counties, according to Bruny. “The tutors (have) been great,” he said. “There’s also couple of additions from the University of Redlands.” One U of R student teaches music and another helped with curriculum for the tutoring program, he said.

“They enjoy it and they’re beginning to learn school isn’t just bad stuff – they can have fun, too,” said U of R freshman biology major David Ortyn, who is volunteering as a tutor during May Term. “It’s nice to be able to help these kids whose situations aren’t the best,” he said. “They can do well in school but just need a little bit of help.”

Music Changing Lives will continue to bring in more UCR work study students, Bruny said.

“The kids are great learning experience,” said UCR freshman Bianca Alda a, who is considering becoming a history teacher. “And it’s good for you to refresh your memory.”
Tutors help students with math and English, and will help with science in the future, she said. They also offer help with homework, she said.

To read the full article click here.

Filed under: Community,Peer-Tutoring

July 15, 2011

Volunteers, students benefit from UNI-Waterloo tutoring program

by Andrew Wind, originally published in wcfcourier.com on 5/13/11

Edie Worthington has begun reading more since starting to work with a tutor last year. “I’ve gotten faster, and I’m better at pronouncing words,” said the Hoover Middle School sixth-grader. “Now I’m reading, like, lots of books.” She is one of 60 students who participate in weekly tutoring sessions at the University of Northern Iowa’s Center for Urban Education. The children are matched with tutors, who are student volunteers from UNI.

Worthington found out about the tutoring sessions last year when her teacher sent home a flier.  It was free, and my mom thought it would be good for me,” she said.  Apparently, a lot of parents had a similar reaction.

Nancy Scoggins Rose, UNI-CUE’s assistant director, said the program served five students during the first year. “Now I have a waiting list,” she said. Students in grades one through 12 from across Black Hawk County are eligible to participate.

The program currently serves children from Waterloo, Cedar Falls and Denver. Each student and tutor come once a week for up to an hour and a half. Sessions are offered four days per week. “Most of the tutors are education majors,” said Scoggins Rose. The UNI students are in a course that requires field experience which they take in advance of completing a student teaching assignment. The other volunteers are enrolled in a course on tutoring.

“It’s a great opportunity since I’ll be graduating soon and have my own classroom,” said Madi Ramaekers, a UNI senior majoring in physics and chemistry education. Highland Elementary School fourth-grader Autumn Watley was working on an online science curriculum one recent afternoon with her tutor, DeAnna Elder.

To read the full article click here.

Filed under: Community,Peer-Tutoring

July 5, 2011

Young unemployed matriculants recruited for aftercare tutoring

by Lesego Memola, originally published in “The New Age” on 5/30/11

Editor’s note: This story comes from Midrand, Gauteng, South Africa and is interesting for the way it taps recent school graduates who cannot find employment to serve as tutors. The term “matric” refers to the final high school exit exam.

Young people with matric will be recruited to assist children from the 792 under-performing primary schools in the province with their homework.

The recruitment is part of Gauteng education MEC Barbara Creecy’s plan to assist children who do not have parents or guardians at home who can help them after school.

“We are deliberately targeting 18 to 35 year olds who have done matric and are unemployed, so that they can assist in our aftercare programme helping children with their homework for about an hour or two,” she said.

Creecy said she understood that parents were working long hours and were too tired by the time they got home to help with homework.

However, this did not mean that parents should not take an active role by checking homework every day.

She said the aftercare initiative was part of an expanded public works programme expected to take place during the course of the year and recruits would be trained, and screened for criminal offences among other things, and be paid a stipend.

Creecy was addressing 525 facilitators at a meeting held in Soweto on Sunday.

They were recruited to create support for parents in playing an active role in their children’s education.

On Saturday the facilitators launched workshops for parents at under-performing schools across the province’s 15 districts.

Yesterday the facilitators reported on their experiences at schools in various areas. At some schools, parents came in droves, while at others they did not arrive due to poor communication about the workshop and parents in rural farm areas were apparently prevented by their employers from attending.

Some facilitators even discovered shocking incidents at schools.

To read the full article click here.

Filed under: Community,Tutoring Practices


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