Sixty to seventy-five (60-75) individually matched K-12th grade youth/adult pairs meet weekly for 90-minute, one-to-one tutor/mentoring sessions during the school year, with modified programming over the summer.
The majority of sessions take place from 6:30-8:00 p.m., making this Rogers Park’s only evening tutor/mentoring program. Partners in Learning (PL) provides an opportunity for tutor/mentor pairs to forge deep connections and to learn from and with one another. Many of the pairs have worked together for years. Activities focus on academic support, social-emotional learning, leadership development, community service, and college- and career-readiness. As the PL relationship develops, it’s common for pairs to “branch out” from the Family Matters building for museum visits, dance classes, movies, and college campus tours. Family Matters staff create grade-appropriate individualized learning plans for each youth, based on their self-identified academic and personal specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals. All learning plans include exploration of current global events and incorporate literacy activities. Tutor/mentor pairs gather together to share in quarterly Peace Circles and game nights. Teens in Partners in Learning are given the opportunity to participate in up to ten Post-Secondary Readiness Initiative (PRI) sessions (see below for complete description). A major strength of the program is the quadrilateral support system developed among a youth’s teachers, parents/guardians, tutor/mentors, and Family Matters staff, all of whom remain in regular contact throughout the year to support the young person’s interests, gifts, and growth.