February 28, 2013

Latino students learn leadership by tutoring young children

By April Hale, Standard Examiner correspondent

Students from Northridge High school tutor elementary students in reading and academics at Hill Field Elementary in Clearfield on Wednesday. (Brian Wolfer/Special to the Standard-Examiner)

CLEARFIELD — As 8-year-old Lyliahna Enriquez worked on her second-grade classwork Wednesday morning at Hill Field Elementary School, she knew that any questions she had could be answered by 17-year-old Christian Jimenez, who was right by her side. Jimenez is part of Latinos in Action, a class from Northridge High School that visits the elementary school twice a week to tutor the younger students in literacy and math. “It’s a really good program in two ways. It’s a great opportunity for the teens to work with kids, because there is no better way to learn than to teach. Also, it helps our teachers in that it gives them the resources to have one-on-one tutoring for the kids,” said Paul Bryner, principal at Hill Field Elementary.

The LIA program is geared toward helping Latino students graduate from high school and college by providing them with opportunities to excel through service and leadership. It is available at 11 schools in Davis School District — five high schools and six junior highs, according to  www.LatinosInAction.org. Students from these schools tutor at numerous elementary schools throughout the district. LIA students have a 100 percent high school graduation rate and an 85 percent college enrollment rate, according to their website.

For the past three years, students from Northridge have worked with students at Hill Field. While their primary purpose is to provide academic tutoring, many students and teachers praised the mentoring aspect that accompanies the experience. “The tutors are incredible young kids. They are a huge benefit to our school,” said second-grade teacher Natalie Phillips.

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

February 22, 2013

Solanco students create peer tutoring program

By Roxanne Todd, My Solanco News

Some Solanco elementary students have been busy putting together a tutoring program that has the attention of United Way officials. The youngsters, who are serving as core leaders of the Youth Venture Initiative, gave a well-organized presentation to community members, retired teachers and administrators and United Way officials on Wednesday at the district’s central office.

The students spoke about their plans for a “Tutor Scooters Peer Tutoring Program” that will enable students to tutor their peers for 30 to 45 minutes at the start of each school day. “We did a lot of thinking about who would be able to give us great ideas, help us with our project, and help us become really good planners,” said Holly Cunningham, a Clermont Elementary student.

The students, who are being advised by Avery Hill, district social worker, took turns explaining that their proposed tutoring program is being made possible by a United Way Youth Venture grant. The project started last year when the students interviewed school personnel and community members for ideas on what the community needs. The students found the top needs to be recycling, food and tutoring.

The students chose to concentrate on tutoring because they felt that was the one issue they could handle. “There are a lot of students who need help with learning,” said Ally Glomb, a Quarryville Elementary student. “It will help our classmates get better grades. It will help our teachers by having other students help those who are struggling.

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Filed under: K-8,Peer-Tutoring

February 16, 2013

Teachers say no to tutoring limits

by Dan Glaun, The Island Now-Great Neck

Union comes out against policy

Great Neck Teachers Association President Sheila Scimone presented a letter to the board of education voicing opposition to the tutoring restrictions.

The Great Neck Teachers Association abandoned its neutral stance on proposed restrictions on private tutoring by Great Neck teachers with full-throated opposition at Monday’s board of education meeting. The teachers association had until Monday remained agnostic on the proposal, which would prohibit teachers from tutoring students who attend classes within the same building, citing divisions in teacher opinion.

But Association President Scheila Scimone said a November survey of teachers had revealed a growing consensus against the change and spurred the union to stake out a position. “[The Great Neck Teachers Association] believes that the policy, as it stands now, allows for tutoring that is extremely supportive of our students. We cannot see any benefit to them that would result from a change; therefore we urge the board to drop its proposed revision of the policy on tutoring,” wrote Scimone in a letter to the board.

Existing policy already prohibits teachers from tutoring students in their classes. The proposal, which is on its second reading and was subject to a lengthy debate at the Oct. 15 board meeting, has been touted by advocates as a means of preventing the appearance of favoritism that could result from teachers and students within the same building establishing monetary relationships.

According to Scimone, the benefits of the existing tutoring system are significant and questions of favoritism or unfair advantage are mitigated by the professionalism of Great Neck teachers. “Teachers who tutor privately are deeply committed to providing their students with the scaffolding they will need in order to become independent learners,” wrote Scimone. “They see themselves are bridges between home and school, and they believe that they can be most effective in this role when they have first-hand, personal knowledge of what their students daily experience of school is.”

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Filed under: Small Private Practices

February 10, 2013

Proposed uniforms for tutors spark debate

By Daneille Gamble, News Editor, The Independent Collegian

A hotly debated Student Government resolution was narrowly passed Tuesday night asking the administration to rethink a new dress code policy for student tutors and residence advisers. Under the policy, most student staffers in the Division of Student Affairs would be required to wear khakis or dress pants with a university-provided polo starting at the beginning of next semester.

Joe Ozbolt, senior double majoring in math and physics, brought concerns about the changes to SG Vice President Chris Dykyj on Monday.  Ozbolt, who has been a tutor in the Learning Enhancement Center for about a year, said all of the tutors and RAs he has spoken with are against the dress code.  “One of the good things about working at this job is knowing that you don’t have to wear a uniform,” he said. “It lets students feel like they’re coming to someone for help who’s a friend, not just some guy who works for some company.”

The senate passed the resolution 16 to 10 after a 20-minute debate. Dean of Students Michele Martinez said senior staff started discussing the idea over the summer. She said the student advisory board, a group within Division of Student Affairs that meets with senior staff to discuss ideas and concerns, supported the idea.

Martinez said students mentioned that sometimes when they try to get help in certain offices, it is unclear who workers are because they do not have clear identification. Ozbolt said he has never heard of problems relating to what tutors wear. He said students he asked who use the tutoring center said the measure was unnecessary.

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Filed under: Business Practices,College

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