When the Center for Community Partnerships invited Case Western Reserve University departments and groups seeking charitable funding to apply for its new Community Outreach Program grants, they received dozens of applications. Ten campus affiliates were selected to receive $1,000 each for the 2008-2009 academic year to continue their outreach work in the areas of Pre K-12, senior citizens, health, social service, community and economic development, and lifelong learning.
Each of the winning groups will be featured in an ongoing series. Learn more about the Saturday Tutoring Program at the Church of the Covenant:
Linda Wilson (FSM '71), a retired Cleveland school teacher, wants the children who participate in the Saturday Tutoring Program at the Church of the Covenant to be exposed to more than just their classrooms and immediate surroundings. That's why she and other program organizers try to take their students on a couple of field trips every year. However, the rising costs associated with gas and transportation fees were beginning to hinder their efforts.
The Saturday Tutoring Program at the Church of the Covenant offers two unique components: the field trips and providing services to students from first grade on up through high school. Tutoring volunteers prep students for the Ohio Graduation tests. In addition, they help the children build self-esteem by realizing the value of an education and community involvement.
"We keep trying to do more. We're having kids graduate who have never gone anywhere. It used to be that large corporations would sponsor a field trip," Wilson explained. The Community Outreach Program Grant will allow the tutoring group to take these students on at least two local field trips this year.
One hundred twenty students from the east and west sides of Cleveland are signed up for the free program this academic year. Case Western Reserve students and staff—including the Center for Civic Engagement and Learning's Janice Eatman-Williams—play a pivotal role in the program's success by recruiting volunteers and providing additional support.
"It's such a natural avenue for the Case Western Reserve students to come over and tutor. We have some who started out as undergrads and are now tutoring in graduate school. Our goal is to have one tutor for every child," Wilson said.
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