than 40 La Salle University students volunteer to tutor neighborhood
children, but that's not enough to meet the demand. Some families
have to wait months or more before their child can receive
the help they need from the free program.
Wallace is one parent who waited patiently for almost a year
for before her son Marquis was paired with a tutor.
only two sessions, I have seen a change in Marquis' language
arts assignments. They are neater and he understands them,"
says Wallace, about her sixth-grade son. "Marquis took
a liking to the program and his tutor immediately."
service that these students provide for a few hours a week
can mean the difference between a student falling behind academically
or catching up and excelling," says Sean Lavelle, administrative
assistant of La Salle's University Ministry and Service, which
coordinates the program.
to our current volunteers and an extremely dedicated group
of student coordinators, the Neighborhood Tutoring program
is thriving," he says. "We are constantly trying
to incorporate new families into the program but doing so
depends on the participation of new volunteers," he says.
"This is why we need to find more tutors."
tutor, Meredith Lieberman, says the best part is the one-on-one
relationship between tutor and student. "It is a year-long
bond, and the tutors become mentors and friends to the students.
Returning students are paired with their same tutors from
the previous year, showing the program's strength," she
provide help in any subject, but the majority of students
need assistance with math and reading. Consequently, these
are the areas of most noticeable improvements.
student, Monica, has improved incredibly in math," says
Maria Reyes, another tutor. "She now does mathematical
calculations in her head and doesn't use her fingers. She
is already on the road to multiplication concepts!"
and tutors meet twice a week in the media center of La Salle's
library. Any homework or studying that the student has that
evening is brought to their session. The students, mostly
in the sixth grade or lower, come from more than 30 area public
for the program takes place in early September, and tutoring
gets under way later that month. Sessions continue until the
La Salle students go on winter break in December, and then
restart in January, continuing until May.
Tutoring has the highest number of consistent volunteers from
all of La Salle's service groups. "I try to keep the
lines of communication open and let the tutors know that I
am open to any feedback that will lead to future successes
for our great program," says Reyes. "The tutors
are great. They jump right in and work with the kids. They
have good ideas and methods to keep them on task."
program has been recognized by former President Clinton as
one of the largest volunteer groups in the country.
further information, call La Salle University's Office of
Ministry and Service at (215)-951-1804.