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Students give up Saturdays to tutor at Bethel AME
By Katie Malene
While most college students were sleeping in Saturday mornings, a group of Miami students helped community youngsters with their schoolwork.
Volunteers from Miami and the Oxford community teamed up for the Bethel AME Saturday morning tutoring program. Since 1994, this program has paired children with college students to improve language arts, spelling, reading and math skills.
But the morning wasn’t all about studying; speakers, crafts and lunch were also provided. This combination of kids, studying and fun is what senior Jon Grant, one of the student coordinators, believes made it a success.
“The college students and the kids created a bond that was built throughout the semester,” he said. “The learning extended past Saturday mornings—the children became stronger students and the college students became stronger role models.”
About 20 college tutors participated this semester. Volunteers were required to go through training and were only allowed to miss two Saturdays per semester.
“The college students are also exposed to a variety of backgrounds through the children,” Harris said. “There is learning going both ways when the child works with the Miami student.”
What is most rewarding for Harris is when she can actually see participants’ academic success via an improved report card or being named to the honor roll.
The Bethel AME tutoring program is one of many Service Learning opportunities at Miami. Half of the college students have opted to serve for academic credit.
(Malene is an intern in the news and public information office.)
Date Published: 05/05/1999