As the growing and successful Interfaith-MPS Tutor Program stays on track to expand from 50 MPS elementary and K-8 schools in 2012-13 to 71 in 2013-14, MPS and Interfaith Older Adult Programs are seeking more volunteer tutors.
A majority of tutored students outscored national averages and/or saw their scores grow at a higher rate than MPS students who were not tutored, according to a review of district standardized test data, showing the tutors are valuable contributors to achievement growth in the district. In addition, the vast majority of teachers of tutored students reported those students had a positive change in attitude, a positive change in behavior, increased interest in learning and improved academic engagement, according to a survey.
Now MPS and Interfaith are seeking 300 new tutors to carry that success forward. More than 200 tutors are already on track to serve by the end of the fall.
“Everyone wants to feel like they have accomplished something worthwhile. Offering time to children is a wonderful way to meet that goal.” says current tutor Sandy Szymkowski. “When a child who was not reading in September is reading with confidence in May, I know that I have shared in that accomplishment. There’s nothing greater than building a child’s self esteem and helping them continue to be successful in school!”
The goal is to ultimately grow the program to serve more than 100 elementary and K-8 schools in 2015-16.
“We are so grateful for all of the work our tutors have undertaken and we’re grateful for their efforts to improve outcomes for our students!” MPS Superintendent Gregory Thornton said.
“Our partnership with MPS and Senior Corps to recruit and place more tutors in elementary classrooms demonstrates the strong community commitment we all have for academic success in the district,” Lisa Bittman, Interfaith’s Executive Director said.
Volunteers should be 55 years old or “better” and must be willing to commit to spending 90 minutes per week in a classroom throughout the academic year. Tutors receive training to maximize their effectiveness when working with students – and spend the year working in the same classroom.
Tutors interested in volunteering should contact Robyn Wohlfeil of Interfaith at (414) 220-8657. Reporters interested in speaking with tutors, teachers and students should contact Tony Tagliavia, MPS media manager, at (414) 475-8675.