Innovations for Learning Inc. is a 24 year old nationally focused education nonprofit, dedicated to insuring that at-risk first grade students can learn to read at grade-level. One core IFL program to serve this goal is called TutorMate. TutorMate relies on volunteer full time working professionals who provide just 30 minutes per week to provide online reading tutoring help to a struggling first grade student attending schools in their same broad metro-area.
TutorMate volunteers are employees at participating corporate sponsors. They tutor directly from their workplace, home, coffee shops, or in fact from any location with internet access. Tutored students remain in their routine classroom and converse with their tutor via a headset and a dedicated in-room TutorMate computer, supplied by IFL. Screen content, including flash cards, stories, and a fun word game or two, is shared between both tutor and student.
This virtual volunteering approach enables busy employees to find the time to give back to their community in a way that makes a difference, but without the need to (1) travel across town to far away schools and (2) to be tied to a fixed volunteer schedule each week. In fact, tutors can choose when they wish to tutor and they can easily adjust this time each week.
TutorMate operates in about 25 major urban school systems across the US, with approximately 5,000 employees from over 170 major corporations, law firms, associations, and government agencies serving as volunteer tutors. Tutors sign up as part of a team of tutors, usually ten in number.
Educational research cited by the Campaign For Grade Level reading indicates that students who don't read proficiently by the end of third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school, and then face the challenges which that reality often entails. Helping a student learn to read before they hit this critical juncture can provide a life changing impact, assisting them in both academic and psycho-social development. Thirty minutes a week of consistent TutorMate online tutoring can make a big difference!
If your organization isn't participating yet in TutorMate, but might like to, contact Dan Weisberg at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more. For more info, please copy these links to your browser: http://tiny.cc/tutormate3pg and http://tiny.cc/tutormateresources