Originally published on 2/10/12 in ValpoCommunity.com
AmeriCorps has had members from all walks of life and a range of ages. But this year, Porter County is benefiting from the efforts of a unique pair. Michelle and Bob Hynes are a father-daughter duo stationed at Valparaiso’s two middle schools.
Bob Hynes discovered AmeriCorps in his search for a meaningful way to help students improve their math skills. Retired from his job in management at a steel company, Hynes has an engineering degree from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and a desire to make a difference. “I was doing substitute teaching, but I realized I could contribute more if I could work one on one with students,” he said. “Tutoring seemed more effective, so I was happy to discover that AmeriCorps had openings for me to do that.”
Hynes now reports every school day to Thomas Jefferson Middle School, where he has a full schedule of tutoring sessions with individual seventh- and eighth-graders. “We’ve been working on slopes recently,” Hynes said. “When the light bulb moment comes — when they begin to understand — that’s when I know that what I’m doing is valuable.”
Michelle Hynes was glad her father found AmeriCorps. A recent graduate of Indiana University with a bachelor’s in both biology and religious studies, she hopes to become a doctor. Hynes wanted an opportunity to do something worthwhile while she waits for the outcome of her medical school applications. “I thought maybe I’d volunteer abroad, maybe in Haiti, but I found a way to help right here,” Hynes said. “Dad found AmeriCorps and told me there were slots for tutors. I knew that was right up my alley.”
Michelle Hynes now spends her time with sixth-graders at Benjamin Franklin Middle School, where she tutors youngsters who need assistance during the school day as well as with other teachers and counselors at after-school study sessions.
To read more click here.
Filed under: Academic Learning Centers,Government,K-8
By Francisco Alvarado, NewTimes Miami, originally posted 2/2/12
A Liberty City tutoring program is under fire from former employees who say not only has it failed to pay about $50,000 in wages, but also it employs two children of the program’s chief, Anthony Dawkins — both of whom have criminal convictions for fraud.
“There are folks who have suffered financial difficulties because they haven’t been paid,” says Adrian Alexander, a Miami-Dade Public Schools speech pathologist who says she’s owed about $1,000. “Dawkins doesn’t seem to care.”
Dawkins admits he hasn’t paid his bills and that his ex-con kids are on the books. But he says he’s trying to rectify the problems and blames the county for yanking a grant he needed to pay tutors. “We’re doing all we can,” says Dawkins, who heads Project Hope Outreach Ministry, which runs the program. “We have nothing to hide. Everyone will get paid very soon.”
The problems began around spring break last year, shortly after Project Hope received a $200,000 University of Miami grant to tutor at Lillie C. Evans K-8 Center. The program went over budget, Dawkins says, and then secured a $125,000 Miami-Dade County grant to balance the books.
But after Mayor Carlos Gimenez took office, he canceled the funds when he slashed the county’s budget. Dawkins wasn’t able to get the money reinstated until September. “That’s been the holdup,” he says.
To read more click here.
Filed under: Academic Learning Centers,Community