Working in cooperation with Garfield Elementary School, teachers have identified children who are not reading at their grade level and have matched them with an adult volunteer. Each adult and child spend two hours per week working on improving the child's reading skills. A child who does not learn to read will struggle throughout school and most likely drop out. Dropping out of school will then dramatically increase their chances of criminal behavior, gang involvement, substance abuse and joblessness.
What are the benefits of tutoring?
Much of what we learn best is learned from individual instruction, whether it be from parents, grandparents, mentors, friends, co-workers, or teachers. Tutoring taps into this effective method of teaching and learning. By customizing instruction to the individual strengths, learning styles, and needs of the student, the tutor can help the student learn more efficiently than is possible in a large group environment.
There is no doubt that such one-on-one instruction is the oldest form of education. Skills and knowledge have been passed on this way since ancient times. But the process is by no means antiquated. Rather, it is time-tested and as effective today as it has always been. In a classic study comparing one-on-one instruction to traditional classroom instruction, psychologist Benjamin Bloom found that the average individually instructed student performed better than 98% of the students who learned in a traditional classroom environment.
Tutoring consistently increases student performance. According to a survey of the research literature by Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, tutoring:
- increases mastery of academic skills,
- improves self-esteem and self-confidence,
- improves students' attitudes toward school,
- reduces dropout rates, truancies, and tardies,
- breaks down social barriers and creates new friendships, and
- provides emotional support and positive role models