When Anna and Diamond started working together six years ago, Anna devised a simple but effective tool for motivating Diamond: stickers.
“She loved stickers,” Anna says.
The two laugh as they remember the binder Diamond covered with all of the stickers she earned for things like writing down her assignments.
Although she still has that binder today, Diamond says stickers aren’t quite the motivator that they used to be. “Don’t get me stickers now,” she jokes.
Her love for stickers isn’t the only thing that has changed. Six years ago, Diamond was a shy sixth-grader who hated books. Today, she is an outgoing high school student in Senn’s theater program, and she cites reading as one of her favorite hobbies—thanks, in part, to Anna.
The relationship between Anna and Diamond has evolved, too, from that of tutor-tutee, to that of friends.
“It’s just interesting the way it’s changed so much,” Anna says, explaining that early on, the pair focused more on skill-building, like multiplication and reading. Now, though, Diamond is able to complete most of her assignments on her own. “So we just talk about things,” Anna says. “It’s just more of a relationship that way.”
Their relationship extends outside of their weekly tutoring sessions, with Anna frequently attending Diamond’s theater performances, such as Our Town. The two also enjoy spending time together baking cookies and apple pie, a hobby Anna introduced to Diamond. Diamond has also taken advantage of Family Matters programming other than tutoring, such as the Teen Girls program and weekly piano lessons. “I have so many memories from here,” she says.
Yet both agree that their friendship is one of the main reasons they return to evening tutoring year after year.
“It’s just Diamond,” Anna says. “Just the relationship that we have.”
“I agree,” says Diamond.