January 30, 2015

Tutoring program in north St. Louis to expand with federal grant

By Alexis Zotos, KMOV.com

A North St. Louis after-school program will be able to triple the number of students helped thanks to help from the state of Missouri. Gov. Jay Nixon pledged $500,000 to the organization North Campus to expand math and science tutoring for low-income families.

For St. Louis resident India Hearn, the after-school program founded by Alderman Antonio French has made a noticeable difference in her 12-year-old son’s education. “His [test] scores have increase by quite a lot,” said Kearn. “It gives my son somewhere to go. In the summer, it’s a summer camp. It’s an after-school program and not only is he having fun but he’s actually learning.”

Nixon announced a new partnership between the University of Missouri St. Louis and North Campus in an effort to boost educational opportunities for young people. “The events in Ferguson over the last two months have been a stark reminder of the specific challenges that have vexed communities in St. Louis, quite frankly across our nation for generations,” said Gov. Nixon. North Campus currently serves 150 students in North St. Louis but through the new partnership they will be able to help an additional 350 students and will expand into North County.

“Investing in kids early provides that hope which we’ve seen a lot of people lack out there. They’re hopeless, they’re angry, they feel they have not been given a fair shake so this gives them the tools to be successful in life,” said Antonio French.

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Filed under: Academic Learning Centers,High School

January 21, 2015

Tutors doing more to support athletes

by Eric Spitz, The Valley Vanguard

The Center for Academic Achievement had the opportunity to share its work regarding student-athlete success at the 32nd annual Michigan Tutorial Association’s Connections Conference. The conference hosted 122 tutors, supplemental instruction leaders and directors of tutoring centers from 26 colleges and universities at the Delta College Planetarium on Oct. 24.

SVSU was one of nine schools to engage participants in informative workshops. Elaine Hunyadi, coordinator of the Center for Academic Achievement; Randy Baruth, head basketball coach; five Center for Academic Achievement tutors and five SVSU student-athletes shared information about their collaborative efforts over the past two years to help student-athletes succeed.

After seeing great progress in his players that had used the tutoring service, Baruth decided to have his entire team partake in tutor-supported study sessions at the center twice a week for four hours. The Center for Academic Achievement works with members of three other teams: men’s football, women’s tennis and softball.

Hunyadi particularly enjoys working with student-athletes. “I’m interested in working with athletes because they have the characteristics of success,” she said. “They understand practice; they understand that, even if you practice really hard, sometimes you don’t win the game. They understand perseverance; they … have an acceptance of failure. They also have an understanding of a relationship with a mentor and how that can help. “We’re just trying to transfer their attitudes, beliefs and behaviors that they already display on the court into their academics.”

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Filed under: Academic Learning Centers,College

January 15, 2015

College tutor started there at 2nd grade level

By Denise Smith Amos, The Florida Times-Union

Manuela Roberts came to Florida State College at Jacksonville reading at a second-grade level. The friendly, open student now jokes that, since enrolling at FSCJ in 1998, she has become “one of their special kids.”

She is 45.

It took her years of GED tutoring at FSCJ to earn the equivalent of a high school diploma. Her mentors wouldn’t let her quit. Even when she came to class high, they told her to go home and come back another day. After she passed all her GED subject tests, they again told her not to quit, to go for a college degree. Her ambition to become a drug rehab counselor grew.

Recently she enrolled in FSCJ’s new Human Services bachelor’s degree program. She hopes to graduate in a year or two. Meanwhile, she tutors part-time, helping more than 200 students a month in FSCJ. As she leaned on her mentors, her students now lean on her, some calling her Momma Byrd or Ms. Monnie.

She says her story of overcoming childhood trauma and a young life of mistakes shows it’s not too late for education to save a person. Manuela is the daughter of a nurse and a shipyard worker who physically fought when she was little. “I saw a lot of violence in the family,” she said. “That probably contributed to some things.” She was diagnosed as clinically depressed in elementary school.

After her parents separated, she bounced between the two, living in different parts of the city, switching schools nearly every year. By ninth grade, she had been in eight different Duval schools, was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and placed in special classes.

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Filed under: Academic Learning Centers,College

January 7, 2015

Older adults to tutor struggling students

By Caitlin McGlade, The Republic

Photo: Emmanuel Lozano/The Republic

This school season brought the first day of school for an unusual crowd: adults 50 and older. About 70 of them are hitting the books at 10 Phoenix elementary schools to help bring first-, second- and third-graders up to speed in reading. Organizers hope to expand the program to 20 more schools by 2020.

The volunteers are part of a nationwide AARP program that sends trained tutors to inner-city schools to help struggling kids catch up to their grade level. More than 1,730 tutors serve about 27,100 students in 21 other cities across the country.

Locally, schools in Tempe have hosted the program since 2006 and have seen success. During the 2012 to 2013 school year, 60 percent of the students who rated below grade level at the year’s onset had improved by the end of the year, according to AARP.

“It’s an encore in their lives … to give back. The tutors had butterflies in their stomachs as if they were going to school for the first time like a child would have,” said Mary Bowden, a site coordinator for the program.

Leaders said the project, called Experience Corps, helps fulfill the initiative called Read On Phoenix that helps third-graders achieve proficiency. The state requires that third-graders meet their grade level before moving to the fourth grade.

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Filed under: Academic Learning Centers,K-8


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