02 January 2014
KOKOMO, Ind. — A local after school tutoring program gives Indiana University Kokomo students experience and a chance to make a difference with area elementary children.
The federally funded program, "Kokomomentum", has allowed this community partnership to be formed between IU Kokomo and Kokomo School Corporation.
Mary Katheryn Dudley, an elementary education major, tutors children at Elwood Haynes Elementary and the Carver Community Center three to four times a week.
"This is an awesome opportunity to be a teacher, and to be part of a program that provides a safe place for children after school," Dudley said. "The students are getting individual attention that isn't available during the school day, and I am practicing what I've learned in my education classes. We are all benefitting from it."
The 120 children in the program participate in academic enrichment activities. The tutors, who are paid through a work-study program, assist with homework and help teachers lead science activities.
This program is part of the campus' regional mission to promote academic success for students of all ages, according to Interim Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke.
"This is an excellent partnership, in which our students get an applied learning experience, and the elementary students get the tutoring help they need," she said.
Pennye Siefert, Kokomo Schools assistant superintendent, appreciates the tutors' efforts.
"These students came to the program with a passion for helping children," she said. "This work study partnership not only gives our young learners extra help with their school work, but also provides them with personal connections with college students, who demonstrate success in achieving academic and career goals."
Psychology major Karen Bowlin is considering graduate school, and appreciates the opportunity to work with the children and build her résumé at the same time.
"More than anything, this gets me involved in something rewarding that is community based," she said. "Some of the kids may not get homework help at home, so I'm glad I can work with them and help them learn."
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.