Tonawanda News

Local News

February 19, 2013

LEAP strides on

Literacy group seeks students, volunteer tutors


Tonawanda News — Accordingly, Richardson and LEAP are moving forward, seeking students and volunteer tutors for the upcoming academic tutoring program LEAP~ASAP, which provides help with writing, reading and homework for students in grades one to six. The free program runs from March 12 to May 9 and takes place at the Powerful Literacy Center.

LEAP~ASAP is geared toward the Sheridan-Parkside community and/or children who attend Holmes Elementary School, but is open to children from anywhere in Western New York. Volunteers work with students in small groups, about two children per tutor. There will be a training session for the tutor volunteers from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. March 7.

Many tutors have teaching experience, but it’s not needed to volunteer, Richardson said.

“I think people think, ‘Well, I don’t have any teaching experience,’ “ she said. “That’s not necessary. It’s even better for us when we get people from all walks of life. Businesspeople, lawyers ... they’ve been some of our best tutors. As long as they enjoy working with children.”

Patricia Schank of North Buffalo, a retired teacher, will be entering her third year of serving as a volunteer tutor with what she called “a wonderful program.” 

“It certainly helps the students. The kids come in and they’re excited about coming,” she said. “When I first came in, I thought, ‘Oh they’ll be tired after being in school all day.’ But I think they like the attention and the one-on-one, more or less, type of instruction. And we make it fun.

“It’s a very fulfilling kind of experience, to see the growth and the interest that these students show.”

Nancy Bissell of Kenmore started working with LEAP~ASAP last year after 27 years experience as a special education teacher, a background she’s been able to tap into as a volunteer with the program.

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