When Pittsburgh native William Griffith arrived for his first year at Case Western Reserve University, one of the first things he did was ride the bus around—exploring the University Circle neighborhoods and Cleveland suburbs that were part of his extended campus home.
“Some people go to college and spend the whole four years without leaving campus—and that’s a waste,” he says.
As a way to get to know his new community, he started volunteering as a tutor through the university’s Project STEP-UP program. What he found was a way to revisit favorite subjects, be part of a vibrant community and build lasting connections with his students. “It’s the most satisfying job I’ve ever had,” he says.
Project STEP-UP sends university students like Griffith to schools, libraries and churches around Greater Cleveland to tutor and mentor students from across the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.
This past year, Griffith tutored in an after-school program at the Cleveland School of Architecture and Design at John Hay Campus, offering homework help in subjects like pre-calculus, chemistry, physics and Spanish. Tutors work with students from kindergarten through high school and help with core subject learning, standardized test preparation and even art education.
He quickly learned that there’s more to teaching than just providing students facts and study tips—Project STEP-UP emphasizes the key role its tutors play as mentors. “If you can help them out, see what might be distracting them outside of school in order to help them learn better, you’re doing a great service,” Griffith says. “It’s great to build that connection.”
For more information on how Case Western Reserve students, staff and faculty are involved in the community, click here.
Posted by: Emily Mayock, January 19, 2011 08:25 AM | News Topics: Students
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