January 31, 2013

Adult literacy tutoring program in Camarillo brings together unlikely pair

by Mark Storer in vcstar.com, originally published on 12/4/12

PHOTO BY CHUCK KIRMAN, VENTURA COUNTY STAR - Bashar Shajrawi (left) and Saul Lessler, in the Camarillo library adult tutoring and learning center, have developed a friendship since Lessler became Shajrawi's tutor at the library.

Bashar Shajrawi left his native Jordan to come to the United States at the start of this year.

“Believe it or not, my only reason to come to America is marriage — no more, no less,” said Shajrawi, 26, of Camarillo. “My reason for doing that is that you can work anywhere, but you can’t find the girl you seek anywhere.” He and his wife, Inas Alshurafa, are expecting a son in the coming months. “I’m lucky to have her,” he said.

Shajrawi received a degree in accounting in Jordan, but his English skills needed work, and he couldn’t work as an accountant without learning to speak and write English. He volunteered to work in the Camarillo library upon his arrival in the U.S., and there he found the Adult Literacy Center.  “They told me it was a place where I could learn to make my English better,” he said.

Meanwhile, Saul Lessler, a retired lawyer who volunteers as a tutor at the center, had been asking the center’s coordinator, Lee Weiss, for a new student. “He’s such a strong tutor, and I wanted to be sure that Bashar had someone like him. Saul has worked with a lot of students and has brought them along not only in English but in their progress in this country,” Weiss said. “He helps them develop their confidence and their self-awareness.”

She also knew Shajrawi was an observant Muslim and Lessler a religious Jew.

To read more click here.


Filed under: Community

January 26, 2013

High School service tutors benefit local third graders

by Anne Woodman in The Cary News. Originally published 11/13/12 under the title “Tutoring program proves to be a win-win”

Panther Creek H.S. student tutors third-grader at Brier Creek Elementary.

Panther Creek High School social studies teacher and National Honor Society sponsor Stephanie Langlois got a call over the summer. Kenneth Lesher, an administrative intern at Brier Creek Elementary School, had a tutoring request for the upcoming school year, and he hoped Panther Creek students would be able to help.

Lesher’s third-graders needed to prepare throughout the year for end-of-grade tests. Langlois has worked with Panther Creek’s National Honor Society students to provide tutors for the class. Five to eight students (out of 210 in the group) sign up to meet at Brier Creek Elementary each Tuesday to tutor about 12 third-graders. The service hours help the high school students; the extra study time helps the elementary kids.

Lesher was hoping for bits of academic progress. What he got was excitement, dedication, anticipation and enrichment. I spoke with Langlois and Lesher about how the tutoring program has benefited both schools.

To read more click here.


Filed under: High School,K-8

January 22, 2013

826Michigan Expands To Detroit With $100,000 DTE Energy Grant For Tutoring And Writing Programs

by Kate Abbey-Lambertz, Huffington Post, originally published 11/13/12

826Michigan, the Ann Arbor offshoot of the writing and tutoring centers across the U.S., received a $100,000 grant from DTE Energy to expand their programs to Detroit in 2013. The organization plans to hire one individual and recruit 100 volunteers over the year.

When the group that runs a robot supply store announced plans to expand to Detroit next year, it had nothing to do with the upcoming “Robocop” remake, or even the city’s growing tech scene. Instead, it’s the writing and tutoring nonprofit tucked behind that Ann Arbor shop that will bring its services to Detroit students.

826Michigan, the local offshoot of a network of nonprofit tutoring centers founded 10 years ago in San Francisco by Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Dave Eggers (A Heartbreaking Work Of Staggering Genius), will expand with help from a $100,000 DTE Energy grant. They’ve long wanted to bring the student-focused programs to the city, said Amanda Uhle, executive director of the Michigan chapter.

“From the outset, certainly since I started in 2006, we have aspired to do more in Detroit and serve students in a really significant way,” Uhle said. “In the meantime, the economy has been challenging and we’ve had enough to do to stabilize our organization.”

826 Michigan has run some programs for Detroit students and schools, but Uhle said the challenge has been that their volunteers are primarily Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti-based. “That’s really not our model … we recruit volunteers who are from a certain community and allow students to be inspired by and learn from adult members of their community,” she explained.

To read more click here.

Filed under: Academic Learning Centers,Community

January 9, 2013

Peer tutoring builds students’ skills, confidence

By Amy Erickson, Le Mars Daily Sentinel, originally published 11/2/12

(Sentinel photo by Amy Erickson) Le Mars High School sophomore Nic Madsen helps sixth grader Aidan McClure with his homework while sophomore Britney Thompson quizzes sixth grader Trent Kliever for an upcoming test. Students such as these are participating in a peer tutoring program for middle schoolers who may be struggling in the classroom.

Le Mars Community high schoolers and middle schoolers are putting their heads together in a tutoring program.  The tutoring gives younger students such as Aidan McClure and Zach Rolfes a little extra one-on-one help with assignments from high school-age tutors. The tutoring sessions occur during a 30-minute period, called studyback, at the end of the middle school student’s day.

Earlier this week, McClure, a sixth grader, said it’s fun to work with his sophomore tutor, Nic Madsen. “If I have a question, I can ask him and he can show me how to do it,” McClure said. Madsen said he volunteered for the job at the request of Nicki Addison, high school counselor. He thinks the tutoring sessions with McClure have been going well, Madsen said. “He’s really improving a lot,” Madsen said.

Senior Emily Ellefson said she likes helping people including Rolfes, her seventh grade partner. “He just needs someone to guide him through his homework and help get it done,” Ellefson said. Rolfes said before working with Ellefson he just didn’t want to do his assignments. “Any homework I have, if I need help she will help me,” Rolfes said. “It’s less to do at home. I get better grades.” Ellefson was the first to volunteer for the peer tutoring program, started by Carrie Campbell, Academy teacher at the middle school. Campbell said pairing older students with younger ones for tutoring just kind of evolved.

To read more click here.

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


For a free monthly newsletter,

"Best of Journal",

enter your email and click

"subscribe to newsletter"

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Tutoring Foundations Tutor Training