Did you ever need a little extra help with a school subject? At some point or another, almost all of us have. Whether it’s been something like handwriting or learning letters to diagramming a sentence or geometry, we’ve all had times when we’ve struggled in school. (This does not mean the struggle we had staying awake in the early morning classes!) While classroom teachers are doing everything they can help their students and facilitate learning, they can’t do it all. They need help. The Memphis Schools school board leaders struggled with this issue. Here’s one way they’re trying to help these struggling Memphis Schools students (and their teachers).
The Memphis Schools system has created a department to handle the recruitment and organization of community members who are willing and able to donate time and effort mentoring students. As stated on the Memphis City Schools website, “helping one child learn helps us all. Children must master basic reading and mathematics skills to succeed in life, and all of them can, but some need a little extra help and a little extra time. Some of them need you.”
Memphis Schools are calling on the entire community, to help the tutor students, and will give volunteers all the training and materials needed to do the job. Adds the Memphis Schools website, “All you have to invest is a little time, and when this investment grows, everybody profits. It’s time we stopped asking, “Why doesn’t somebody do something?” Somebody can. You. Join Our children – Our Future, the new Memphis City schools volunteer tutor training program.” It is a wonderful initiative that is being undertaken by the Memphis Schools system, and one to be copied by other school systems throughout Tennessee and the nation.
When participating in the program serving students attending Memphis Schools, volunteer tutors work with K-6 students for 30 minutes once or twice a week, and 45 minutes once a week for those in 7th – 12th grades. Times for tutoring sessions will be individualized for all Memphis Schools and will include times before, during, and after the school day. Individual schedules of volunteers will be considered when scheduling tutoring sessions.
Volunteers at any of the Memphis Schools will receive approximately 2 ½ -3 hours of training, as well as all materials they might require when working with their student. Tutors can pick the age of the child they work with, as well as what subject (either Reading or Math) they want help. Volunteer tutors must have a high school diploma, and have a strong concept of algebraic concepts if tutoring in higher math. In addition, all volunteers must agree to a background check, in order to ensure the safety of all Memphis Schools students.