fledgling tutoring program is taking off - to the point where
spacious new digs are a reality. Associates of the Tule River
Indian Study Center in Porterville hosted an open house Wednesday
to celebrate their relocation to a bigger and better building
on West Olive Avenue in the Town and Country Shopping Center.
The after-school tutoring program is fully sponsored by the Tule
River Tribal Council and targets children from kindergarten to
high school who are affiliated with the Tule River Indian Tribe.
we do is provide assistance with homework, reading and math through
a personalized learning program," said Program Director John
Focke. "With the total support of the Tribal Council, the teachers
and the parents, we are achieving fantastic success."
members, teachers and school administrators were invited to visit
the learning center to see how the program is run and to observe
the one-on-one interaction between teacher and student.
spacious building with high ceilings is divided into cubicles where
tutors can work privately with students. Visitors could find students
working with tutors as they finished the day's homework or occupied
themselves with educational tools ranging from the large assortment
of flash cards, to workbooks and picture puzzles.
personal attention and the quality of our teachers is what gives
us the ability to take a student where they may not be able to take
themselves," said Focke.
for tutoring program are required to posses teaching credentials
and freely boast over the maximum 3-to-1 student-teacher ratio.
worked for other after-school programs, but the small groups are
what really makes the difference," said Peggy Newlin, a tutor
and first grade teacher at Westfield School. "We have very
close contact with the students, the parents and the teachers."
new location, previously the Clifton Flower and Garden Shop, enables
the program to accommodate more students as it enters into its fourth
moved here two months ago. It's been great to have four times the
space we were working with before," said Angie Camp, a tutor
with the program. "This program originally started with two
tutors and six to eight kids."
four years after the program's inception, participation has grown
to include 14 instructors and 45 students.
involved the program attend sessions from one to four days a week,
depending on their needs. They are picked up directly from school
and are driven to the center, where a tutor assists them in understanding
and completing their homework, focuses on any subjects that need
special attention, or even discusses problems they may be faced
with at home or at school.
days a week, Amber Perez, 8, is dropped off at the learning center
to receive help in math and English.
like coming here," said Perez. "They show me how to divide
and how to write paragraphs."
lot of teachers comment on how the kids have started to turn in
their homework every day," said Camp. "They also see an
improvement in their attitude."
June 28, the study center will offer summer sessions with morning
and afternoon classes available.