Celebration of Service

Celebration of Service

The IU East Academic Outreach Summer Tutoring Program wrapped up this past week, with thirteen IU East students tutoring a total of 38 K-12 students for 165 hours. Completing 155 sessions over the course of eleven weeks, all registrants were accommodated, even those on the waitlist. All of the parents/guardians (21) that completed evaluations agreed that the summer tutoring program helped their child. Thirteen of the 21 parents agreed that their child understood the subject(s) better than before tutoring, with seven of these parents saying they couldn’t be sure until the school year started. All of the students but one who completed evaluations (22) agreed that their tutor helped them, and 17 out of 22 said they felt like they understood their subject better than before tutoring. The 2015 Summer Tutoring program provided a way for IU East students/tutors to make a significant impact in their community.

A previous blog introduced you to a few of these dedicated service-learning students who, in addition to tutoring, engaged in more than 100 hours of summer service each week, through the IU East Center for Service-Learning. This week’s blog continues with the student introductions, their accomplishments, and their reflections on service-learning experiences.

1 Katelyn Brown

Katelyn Brown and friend at Girls Inc.

Katelyn Brown is a biochemistry major with a Spanish minor. She plans on attending Dental School and becoming a bilingual dentist. Katelyn chose the Summer Tutoring Program for her Honors Senior Thesis project, and she assisted or led in the design, implementation, and management of all aspects of this project, including tutoring. Katelyn has been involved in service-learning since her second semester at IU East, when she started a weekly Music Club at Girls Inc. Since then, she tutored EL students at five different local schools, served as an English Learning (EL) Literacy Coach at the schools, and promoted service-learning as an SI for Spanish classes at IU East. A service-learning project for her Honors Senior Thesis seemed like the perfect choice.

2 Katelyn Brown

Katelyn Brown (left) and student at IU East Center for Service-Learning

 “For me, this program was very rewarding in that it allowed me to make an impact with many different types of students in my community…The children and teens that were tutored came to a college campus once a week for this program, and the tutors provided real-life models of college students. Both of these aspects may have inspired the children/teens to at least think of college as an option as they get older…The IU East students were able to not only impart knowledge, but to form a relationship with the students from the community. This sharing of knowledge and experiences may have further encouraged the children/teens to consider a future which includes college, and it may have let them know that it’s okay to struggle with things, because their tutors shared their struggles.” – Katelyn Brown

Hannah Castor’s first experience with service-learning in a Professional Writing Skills course in Spring 2015 “significantly impacted her educational choices,” pushing her in the direction of professional and technical writing. “My perception about literacy issues in Wayne County has changed since working with K-Ready; I knew that there was a learning struggle for low-income children, but I was not aware of the large number of these kids until just recently… I sincerely hope that this grant will earn K-Ready additional funding so that more kids can be reached. .. I would definitely love to volunteer at some of their events if Bethany needs assistance.”  (https://hannahcastor01.wordpress.com/) Hannah volunteered for K-Ready’s Baby Genius Summer Bash (pictured), addressing literacy and education for families with babies.

3 Hannah Castor

Hannah Castor (left), Hope Peer, and Katelyn Brown – serving at K-Ready’s Baby Genius Summer Bash 2015

Hannah’s service experiences, including Lemonade Days Training, connected her with the Center for Service-Learning and she volunteered to be a summer tutor!

“My first tutoring session was the most memorable because of his attitude toward learning. I had planned to spend the hour getting to know him and playing a few games, but he instead wanted to dive right into the learning experience. He picked out books to read, asked me to give him math problems to work on, and continually asked me what was next after completing a task. I was greatly surprised by his excitement; I had anticipated challenges in getting him to focus on tasks, but he was ready to learn. He told me math was his hardest subject but that he wanted to learn more about it in order to get better, and I could definitely learn a lot from him in this respect. The next session, his mom told me how excited he was to come back and learn more math, and I was really happy to see his positive attitude.”

Trevor Boram is a double major in biochemistry and mathematics, with plans of attending medical school. In addition to being a Summer Tutor, Trevor is also a Summer Research Scholar, working with Yu Kay Law, assistant professor of chemistry, on “The Decay of Excited State DNA: A Molecular Scale Analysis.” He continues to tutor in math and science at Richmond High School in the Fall.

4 Trevor Boram Trevor Boram and student at Summer Tutoring program at IU East

“My background as a guitar teacher, math and science tutor, and son of a teacher helped me understand what is achievable by students. Students will put more effort into something when they start to notice observable improvement. That is the point where a student is more committed to their own success after enjoying a feeling of success after a struggle with a hard topic, like playing an instrument or solving a math problem… My most memorable experience as a tutor was probably the first time [a student] told me that because of the different methods I used to explain a difficult topic (long division of polynomials), he was able to understand pre-calculus better than he did after taking it a year ago.” – Trevor Boram

Kristina Kier, an education student, served last year at Vaile Elementary, helping in classrooms and after school. “Kristina helped with being a continuing presence in the lives of the children at Vaile in the kindergarten and third grade classrooms. She also continued to help with tutoring at the after school program, Kristina’s continued service to our school all year gave the students a chance to get count on an adult for support in bettering their life. A lot of the students at Vaile do not have a stable influence in their life so it makes a difference for them to have the same person to help them and celebrate their achievements throughout the year… Kristina did a wonderful job with our students. She made several connections with students that made a world of difference to how the student made it through the school year.” – Tammy Newton, CIS Coordinator at Vaile Elementary

5 Kristina Kier

Kristina Kier (left) with student and parent, Summer 2015

This summer, Kristina helped with the Richmond YMCA’s summer Y-Care program, in addition to her academic outreach through the IU East Summer tutoring program.

Helping tutor this summer has been a great experience. I have been able to connect with the children and help them to connect with their subjects, keeping their minds tuned so that they will be better prepared when they enter school this fall. It was exciting when I was struggling to find a way to help and I found that ‘just right book’ and we were able to practice phonics together with enthusiasm.” – Kristina Kier

Coty Barrett is an English major with a minor in Spanish and Philosophy. During the school year, Coty utilized his Spanish language skills to help adult English Learners at Richmond Adult Education. At the beginning of the summer, Coty said,“I am exploring the possibility of becoming a teacher after college. Hopefully tutoring will give me some insight into this career.

6 corey barrett

Coty Barrett (front left) with family, including two tutoring students

“I am considering working on becoming a teacher after I graduate, and so I seek opportunities to give myself a taste of what real teaching experiences are like. I always appreciate a chance to challenge myself and learn about the difficulties and joys of teaching. That was what initially pushed me to begin tutoring children and adults. I wanted to try teaching a wide variety of people on a wide variety of subjects to see what would click for me. I feel like I have learned just as much as the people I have taught during these experiences, and I continue to seek new, equally enlightening opportunities. All of my tutoring experiences have been within the service-learning program of IU East… All of my experiences within service-learning have provided me with the skills, knowledge, and desire to keep making a meaningful contribution.” – Coty Barrett

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