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Nonprofit organization offers free tutoring to K-8 students
A student takes part in independent reading time during a tutoring session in July 2011.
By Tonya Whitaker
For the second year in a row, Access! Remedial Tutoring will hold free tutoring sessions for economically disadvantaged K-8 students in Plano and Frisco school districts.
Tonya Whitaker, program director, said last summer five students took part in the two-month program, which was held at Haggard Library, 2501 Coit Road, in Plano.
“The students had fun while learning,” said Whitaker, a former Cedar Hill ISD math teacher. “We had parents who were concerned with their child’s preparation for the next grade because their child was in jeopardy of falling behind.”
She said Access! was created to help parents and student overcome the hurdles that may exist in obtaining a quality education.
“As a teacher, I encountered parents who wanted to help their child with math homework but their understanding of the subject was limited. The desire to help the child was there, but the financial resources were not. Our program will benefit the child and parent.”
Just as with previous sessions, students will have access (hence the name) to volunteer tutors with the appropriate education in the subjects they tutor. For instance, math tutors possess engineering, computer science, or math degrees. Tutors without a degree in math, for example, possess grades of at least a B.
“We want to have people who understand the subjects 100 percent because we don’t want to confuse students; we want to help them to become competent. Grades aside, have the desire to see students achieve success in the classroom.”
Tutoring sessions begin Monday, Oct. 15, and are scheduled for 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. For tutoring location, to volunteer, or to learn if your child qualifies, email Whitaker at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spaces are limited for sessions; therefore, Whitaker suggests contacting her as soon as possible to secure a spot. Volunteers who are 17 and younger must receive parental permission to tutor, and all tutors 18 and older must undergo a criminal background and character reference checks.
To qualify for K-8 tutoring services, candidates must fall into one of the following categories:
Be a student in a Title I campus as defined by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001
Have a family income that does not exceed the Department of Health and Human Services poverty guidelines for family size
Qualify for free or reduced lunch, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamp Program), Medicaid, Women, Infants and Children (WIC), Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), subsidized housing (Section 8)
Receive court-ordered child support through the Texas Attorney General’s Office
Visit www.accesstutoring.org to learn more about this program.
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