King’s College has assumed leadership of a program designed to increase the involvement of local low-income families in their children’s education and that provides college students to serve as tutors for the fifth through eighth grade students.
The program, titled Learning Works, was established in early 2012 by the local office of Volunteers of America with assistance from King’s. Since then, all 80 middle school students who participated in the program have improved their grades in at least one subject area and some have improved in more than one area, according to Bill Bolan, director of the Shoval Center for Community Engagement and Learning at King’s.
The program recently was awarded a TANF Youth Services contract of more than $48,000 from the Luzerne Schuylkill Workforce Investment Board to conduct the program, including hiring three Learning Works coaches who work side-by-side with parents during weekly home visits to provide additional academic support to their children. The coaches also work with the participants’ siblings and refer families to any needed social services or economic support.
Approximately 35 students from Kistler Elementary, Meyers Junior High and State Street Elementary schools are spending one afternoon each week on the King’s campus working one-on-one with student tutors on academic assistance and career exploration workshops led by King’s faculty members and local community members. The tutors and students complete the visit with a meal in the College’s Campus Center.
Some sessions also include a financial literacy component; training in research, writing, and public speaking in preparation for a presentation held at the end of each semester; and a focus on literacy through the Read-a-Rama Program.
A Catholic College Sponsored by the Congregation of Holy Cross.