Click on the photo below to read an article in the New York Times that I found interesting and served as a reminder of the importance of our work in the local schools. While we cannot solve many of the systemic problems mentioned in the article, we can make a difference in the individual lives of the children with our consistent presence and relationships along with our academic support.
GREAT NEWS – Tutors for Kids has completed their January – June 2017 book distribution to students. Tutors distributed over 7,000 new books to students in the 12 schools where we tutor. All of our schools have a high number of Title One students. Our school demographic population range from 76 to 98% Title One students. These students cannot afford to buy books. So receiving a new book is a priceless possession.
One of our schools, Beverly Shores Elementary in Leesburg, FL had their annual “Muffins with Moms” get-together at 7:30 AM on Thursday May 11th. Imagine 500+ moms, grandmothers, aunts, and some dads bringing their children to school and sitting together for muffins and juice. And then there were hundreds of little ones not of school age yet who came along.
Tutors for Kids hosted a free book giveaway to all children. Eight tutor volunteers passed out almost 700 free books. The books were made possible by a grant from United Way of Lake and Sumter County. Each parent received a paper with links to websites to help their children during the summer break. Also they received a form to sign if their child read for one hour a day on five days a week for each week during the summer. The student would bring the form back to school in August and Tutors for Kids would give that student 2 free books.
One of our Tutors for Kids volunteers just received some great news from their student’s fifth grade teacher. The student was in a ‘special class’ at the start of the year. The tutor created a good learning structure. The student started to respond in both reading and math. The student looked forward to the tutor coming.
In January the student was ‘mainstreamed’ into a regular class rotation. In April the student had numerous tests and achieved the highest score possible on each set of tests.
These are the reports that we like to hear.
Imagine a home without a book or reading materials. This is a true picture in the 13 schools where we tutor. Ask a student why there is no reading material in the home? The answer, in some form or another, is: “We don’t have enough money for food, so we cannot afford to buy books”.
Tutors for Kids is trying to solve this lack of books. From August 2017 to June 2018 Tutors for Kids gave to their students over 17,000 new books which are theirs to read and to keep. The worst scenario for education is to have a student on vacation without any reading material. We don’t want this to happen.
Tutors for Kids gives a special “Thank you to all who have helped us provide books through their generous contributions to our book programs.
Mikki Blumberg of Girl Scout Alumnae and Carolyn Ruhe of Tutors for Kids talk about the 500 donated books
During the holiday season each year, the Girl Scout Alumnae-Silver Trefoils of The Villages collects thousands of pairs of pajamas and hundreds of books for homeless children in Sumter, Lake and Marion counties. Tutors for Kids is honored to contribute books to this worthy drive and to know that the local children will have reading materials during their holiday school break!! The power of books is immeasurable.
Can books make a difference? Yes, definitely.
Recently, a 4th grade boy did not read, did not participate in class, and did not get good grades. Finally, he selected a book from the many offerings Tutors for Kids made to students during the year. He read it during a vacation and was hooked!! He loved the book, and asked for the next book in the series. One book led to another book – and the result was class participation, significant improvement in his grades, and huge jump in his self-confidence. Think of the power of ONE book!!
On June 2nd, 2016, Tutors for Kids was honored to receive the Florida Education Foundation’s 2016 Commissioner’s Business Recognition Award for their volunteer efforts in Sumter County with Wildwood Elementary and Middle Schools. Accepting on behalf of Tutors for Kids were Tutor, Marie Elston, as well as Board Member and School Tutor Coordinator, Rhonda Casey. Also pictured is Pam Stewart, Commissioner of Education and Richard Shirley, Superintendent of Sumter County School District.
The Commissioner’s Business Recognition Awards (CBRA) program was established in 1987 by the Florida Commissioner of Education. This program recognizes businesses from around the state of Florida that have shown the most commitment, creativity and innovation in bringing about positive change to schools and school districts. The honorees are selected by each County, based on the significant impact the business partnership had on the students in a particular K-12 public school or district wide.
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Our tutors come from every walk of life. Some are educators, some are professionals, some are homemakers, some are electricians, etc. Some are retired. Some are still at work. All are volunteers.
All tutors share the same goal – to ensure that our future citizens are the best educated members of their communities. To achieve this end, each volunteer tutor makes a commitment for one school year to tutor students a minimum of once a week for a 90-minute period – many tutors do more than one 90-minute period.
During this time our tutors work with students that teachers identify as struggling in certain areas. Currently tutors work in Grades K through 5 and in one middle school Grades 6,7,8.
Primarily tutors provide help to students in reading, writing, arithmetic, and science. Often a tutor may identify that a child is having trouble in math because the student cannot read the problem. As a result this student will get tutoring in both reading and math.
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