TLC tutors offering helping hand to BBBS kids

TLC tutors offering helping hand to BBBS kids

Monday, April 01, 2013

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Thanks to a new outreach pilot program, tutors from OTC's Speckman Tutoring and Learning Center are expanding their services to younger students in need of a bit of assistance.

Working in conjunction with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Springfield, a number of tutors from the tutoring center are spending several hours on Tuesdays helping students in grades 6-12 with their math, science, writing and study skills.

Tara Lawless, a full-time math tutor at the TLC, came up with the idea.

"I was part of a professional development project with Big Brothers Big Sisters called Lunch Buddies, where we have lunch with students. One of the case managers asked me if I knew of any grants she could apply for to get tutoring for some of the younger students. I said I didn't know of any grants; however, I said we could help," Lawless said.

"We decided as a department that we wanted to come in and offer help. It's a six-week pilot program. If it goes over well, which I think it has, we will return in the fall for the entire school year."

So far, the work has gotten rave reviews.

"I think its gone over awesome," Lawless said. "I had a student in the first week who sat down with no back pack, no books, no pencils and said at the start of the session that he didn't want to be here. By the end of the session, he was thrilled to have completed his 10-question math homework.I think it was the first time he completed his homework."

Sierra, a seventh-grader whose last name was not released, said she liked working with her tutor. Her grandmother was having trouble helping Sierra with her homework.

"The tutor was funny. He helped me with everything. The tutoring helps me get my studies done," she said.

Corey Harrington, one of the student tutors from OTC, said Lawless asked him to join the project.

"I wanted to do some volunteer work. Having the students ask questions and poke holes in your knowledge is something I like. Having to answer why is it a certain way makes me look at the problems a little more deeply", Harrington said.

Lawless said the overriding back pay for the tutors is simple.

"We love it. Its fun for us to get to share," she said.