March 31, 2012

20th Annual National Tutoring Association Conference

By Nalini Lasiewicz, Crossroads of Learning

Each National Tutoring Association conference is a memorable and inspiring event.  This year’s 20th annual conference held in Scottsdale, AZ went beyond expectations in terms of the local scenery, the excellence of the many presentations and the enjoyable exchanges had by attendees throughout the week.  In addition to the main event, tutor trainings for certification were held pre-and-post conference with newly certified tutors and those continuing their professional development.

Starting with the welcome reception which featured a wonderful bossa nova guitarist, to the annual awards luncheon, motivational keynote addresses, and an exciting potpourri of educational sessions, the conference delivered an intimate, stimulating and informational smorgasborg of learning.  NTA Executive Director, Dr. Sandi Ayaz, continued in her tradition of assembling an exciting schedule of session on topics relevant to tutorial efforts, learning, best practices and skills building.

NTA President Lynn Giese presents college Program of the Year award to John Wood of  Padadena City College, CA.

NTA President Lynn Giese presents college Program of the Year award to John Wood of Pasadena City College, CA.

Bob and Nalini Lasiewicz of Crossroads of Learning participated as volunteers for logistical support, joining NTA board officers including Dr. Pamela Bandyopadhyay, Javier Bustillos, Kabir Kassam, Austin Ferguson, and Karen Royster-James.  All were managed on-site by NTA President Lynn Giese.

NTA’s Kabir Kassam (President Elect) and Bob Lasiewicz (board member).

NTA’s Kabir Kassam (President Elect) and Bob Lasiewicz (board member).

Board member Dr. Daniel Weinstein joined Lynn to provide the on-site tutor training courses using the Tutoring Foundations workbook curriculum. Veteran Crossroads of Learning on-line and workbook trainer r Avery Austin led the first academic coaching training based on the recently released Academic Coaching Workbook workbook from Crossroads.  An in-person meeting of Crossroads Train-the-Trainer program participants was another new feature.

Mohan Dhall was among those recognized by the NTA, for his outstanding work in helping to launch and lead the Australian Tutoring Association (ATA).  Mohan presented research of how governments across the globe view tutoring. He covered policies ranging from direct governmental support to the opposite extreme in which some governments do not permit or will ban the use of academic tutors.  The worldwide trends in parent attitudes, alignments to mainstream education as well as the rapid growth of the tutoring field made for a fascinating presentation.  These international trends underscore the importance of the NTA mission to inform and advocate for tutor training and certification.

 Stuart Wright, Piedmont Virginia Community College with NTA Livetime Achievement award winner Laura Symons and Dr. Daniel Weinstein, NTA Board member.

Stuart Wright, Piedmont Virginia Community College with NTA Lifetime Achievement award winner Laura Symons and Dr. Daniel Weinstein, NTA Board member.

In his presentation during the second conference luncheon, Bob Lasiewicz congratulated the many leaders of the field there were in attendance, including the NTA Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Laura Symons of Piedmont Virginia Community College.  In her acceptance speech, Laura summed up the thoughts of many at the conference  when she acknowledged the privilege she felt, along with her fellow honorees, for having been able to train thousands of tutors.  She recognized the efforts of the NTA and all those tutors who, according to Laura, “take what we say, as trainers, and run with it.” The tutoring professionals in attendance and those new to the field found comfort in the fact that the NTA continues to build a legacy of excellence in training and certification which stood the test of these tough economic times and will continue to expand, touching the lives for many for years to come.

Muhlenberg College (Allentown, PA) hosted two sessions including one on Brain Food presented by neuroscience grad students, Samantha Mangel and Jennifer Bleznek.

Muhlenberg College (Allentown, PA) hosted two sessions including one on Brain Food presented by neuroscience grad students, Samantha Mangel and Jennifer Bleznek.

Filed under: Associations

March 22, 2012

Grant to help Bethlehem, Allentown schools restore after-school tutoring programs

By Steve Esack, Of The Morning Call, originally published 1/24/12

It used to be hard to tell when Principal Sonia Vazquez’s school in south Bethlehem was closed. Then money for after-school and summer programs dried up after Gov. Tom Corbett cut the $47.6 million funding for the state’s education assistance program to help plug a $4 billion state deficit.

“The fact I had to stop completely cold was very upsetting to them [students] and families,” said Vazquez, Donegan’s principal for the last three years.

But, those programs soon will be back at Donegan and other schools that serve mostly poor children in the Bethlehem Area and Allentown school districts and other parts of the Lehigh Valley area. Bethlehem Area has been awarded a three-year, $1.5 million federal grant to provide after-school activities for Donegan, Fountain Hill, Freemansburg and Marvine elementary schools. The Allentown School District got about $1.5 million, and Roberto Clemente Charter School in Allentown received $504,000 over three years.

The grant was established under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. It is to be used to provide an after-school snack and tutoring in math, reading and English by certified teachers. When tutoring ends, students can unwind by participating in sports, academic or hobby clubs.

To read more click here.

Filed under: Government,NCLB

March 15, 2012

Lancaster gets $1.5 million federal grant for tutoring

By Brian Wallace, Staff Writer, Lancaster Online, Originally published 1/20/12

More than 400 children attending four Lancaster elementary schools will be able to participate in after-school tutoring and enrichment programs thanks to a new $1.5 million federal grant. School District of Lancaster officials learned Thursday that the district is among the 57 districts, schools and organizations in Pennsylvania to be awarded $64.4 million in 21st Century Community Learning Challenge Grants over the next three years.

“I’m thrilled,” said Barbara Lombardo, SDL development coordinator. “We’ve been involved in 21st Century Learning grants for many years, and it’s a terrific way to serve our kids and our community.”

The money will be used for after-school tutoring and academic and cultural enrichment programs for students at Burrowes, Washington, Fulton and Price elementary schools, Lombardo said. Sylvan Learning will provide the tutoring, and SDL will partner with four organizations — the Boys & Girls Club of Lancaster, Lancaster Family YMCA, Compass Mark and Heads Up Lancaster — to offer the after-school programs.

In addition to academics, the programs will cover fitness, nutrition, art, music and other topics. More than 100 students at each school are expected to participate in the programs, which will enhance what the schools already are offering, Lombardo said.

To read more click here.

Filed under: Government

March 12, 2012

Middle school gets $90,000 grant

Originally published in the Southeast Missourian on 1/18/12

Cape Girardeau Central Middle School’s Cub Club after-school program is expanding with a $90,000 grant awarded to the school from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

According to a news release from the United Way of Southeast Missouri, which helped the school receive the grant through the use of its Leading and Inspiring Families to Excel, or LIFE, program, the funds will be paid over the next three years.

The school’s Cub Club program has had more than 150 participating students each year since it began in 2009. The program focuses on tutoring and according to the release has resulted in a significant increase in students’ scores on the Missouri Assessment Program, or MAP, tests. With the grant, the school has so far established Cub Club Plus, which will offer activities and tutoring for reading before school and following the afternoon Club Club.

To read more click here.

Filed under: Community,Funding


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