Almanac

News - July 9, 2008

Rotary marks 10 years of tutoring

Menlo Park club members teach reading to third-graders at Garfield School

By Jane Knoerle

When Doug Adams of Menlo Park was president of the Rotary Club of Menlo Park, he started a tutoring project at Garfield Charter School. That was 10 years ago and it's still going strong.

The 27 Rotarians who took part in the program at Garfield School this year were honored at the club's annual tutor appreciation luncheon on May 7.

During the school year, the tutors meet weekly with their charges at Garfield, a preschool through eighth-grade school in the North Fair Oaks area of unincorporated San Mateo County.

Their pupils are in third and fourth grade, the time in a student's education when he begins to learn through reading. "If kids aren't reading at third-grade level, studies show they are the least likely to be successful in their later school years," says Mr. Adams.

The tutors work with the same student each week from October to May, spending about 45 minutes a session. "It's an excellent opportunity to help on a one-to-one basis," says Mr. Adams.

The program's goal is English literacy, a challenge when the school's population is 96 percent Hispanic. Most of the children come from homes where no English is spoken, Mr. Adams says.

The tutor's teaching materials vary, from phonics books for those who are far behind in their reading skills, to National Geographic books on many subjects. The students like choosing their own subjects from the books available, says Mr. Adams.

The Rotary Club of Menlo Park and the Rotary Club Foundation contribute about $5,000 a year to the tutoring program. The money has been used for library books, outfitting the tutoring room with supplies, building a playground shelter, re-landscaping the front of Garfield School, funding science camp, a college day at Menlo College for the school's entire seventh grade, and funds for field trips.

In instructions given to new tutors, volunteers are asked to let their student's teacher know if they can't make it to a tutoring session. "The students really look forward to their time with their tutor and are disappointed if they are unaware you will not be there," it says.

It seems the feelings are mutual. "The tutors just love the kids," says Mr. Adams.

For more information about the program, e-mail Mr. Adams at dougadams1@aol.com.

Comments

Posted by Ken, a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Jul 8, 2008 at 4:49 pm

This is inspirational. I salute you, Doug Adams, and your fellow Rotarians who are walking the talk.


If you were a member and logged in you could track comments from this story.

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields