Volume 2 Issue 3

Small things done with great love matter

by Volunteer Tutor

Mother Teresa said it and I’ve learned it’s true. After an entire summer away, I drive to the site where I will begin my third year of teaching my little friend. When I finally see the third grader, and we get together for reading time, a smile spreads from one ear to the next. This special little person runs over and gives me the biggest hug that I have ever received.

In September 2012, I began to teach her more about the subjects of English, history, science,
and math. Since then, she has been able to entrust me with confidences about her many
endeavors as she tackles elementary school. At Whiz Kids Tutoring, we tutors meet with students one night every week. The session includes one hour of tutoring and thirty minutes of a combined group activity, but that’s all the time we have. Within those limitations, we attempt to help students academically, socially, and personally. While students are generally able to see progress in all three areas because of the assistance that Whiz Kids provides, I doubt many of the tutors expect a similar impact on their own lives. And, yet, that happens; children
develop a passion for learning while their tutors develop deep appreciation for them and understand more about what matters in life.

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I now actively seek to spend time with many children who attend tutoring each week. I find the resilience and bravery they demonstrate inspiring. The children that attend tutoring at the site in which I volunteer all come from poverty. Fearing for their safety, wondering if they will be able to afford school supplies—these and other obstacles usually plague the students’ minds.

Something changes within a child when they understand that their education matters not only for their own future, but also for the future of Jefferson County education. At Whiz Kids Tutoring sites located all over the county, children in poverty are equipped to refine their reading, writing, and mathematics skills through the work of dedicated volunteers and workers.

Students who previously may have disliked school and the discipline of academia are now introduced to the growth that comes with learning. Students get one-on-one attention that helps them address specific learning difficulties, and also allows the tutor to change their negative perception of education.

Whiz Kids Tutoring contributes to the overall well-being of each child who is able to attend sessions by helping them cross language barriers, deal with learning disabilities, and tackle other hindrances. A session includes a snack time, group interaction, and games, and students are given the opportunity to work with other students who may be encountering the same or similar difficulties. They also get to make connections with other adults in the education system who have their best interest in mind, and develop a newfound love and appreciation for education.

Volunteers guide students as they develop social, disciplinary, and educational skills that
continue to impact them positively for many years after they have left the program. While
our local county and nation face complications through the process of introducing education
reform, Whiz Kids offers hope as students are seeing progress in their own education through their friendly tutoring sessions.

The seemingly small thing of a friendship between a tutor and a student, and the routine of tutoring when students eat a snack, find their tutor, and sit down for an hour of educational reading and other basic learning activities, followed by 30 minutes of a group session, has helped to change the lives of many Jeffco students, like that of my friend.

To learn more about Whiz Kids tutoring go to WhizKidsTutoring.com