Walk into Family Matters on a weeknight and you will find the building abuzz with students and volunteer tutors hard at work.
In one of the offices, a student-tutor pair is focused on spelling patterns, moving letter tiles along the table to make a tactile-kinesthetic connection. “Thinking about the spelling patterns we’ve been working on, which letters make the /k/ sound after a short vowel?” the tutor asks. The student thinks carefully and then confidently replies, “c and k!”
In the art room, a student and tutor are collecting materials needed to make a model of a cell for biology class. “What do you think you could use to represent cytoplasm?” the tutor inquires. “Maybe some of this ribbon,” the student decides, pulling out a roll of curling ribbon from a bin.
In the library, a student-tutor pair is stretched out on the floor, taking turns reading aloud from a novel. “Can you visualize the setting? Close your eyes and describe what you see,” the tutor says.
In the living room, a student shares a difficult situation he is encountering with someone at school and expresses interest in working through it. The tutor nods, listening intently, and the two begin to talk about possible next steps.
Partners in Learning is about connecting. Youth and adults forge a bond as they meet weekly for academic and life skill building. They set goals together. They work through areas of challenge together. They nurture gifts and interests together. They talk about their families, their schools, and their workplaces. They build relationships that enrich both students and tutors and that often last a lifetime.