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Mountain tutoring program to expand

Kids Can Succeed slated for St. Marguerite d’Youville and Franklin Road schools

 By Mark Newman, News Staff 

Volunteer tutors from Neighbour to Neighbour Centre’s Kids Can Succeed tutoring program will be heading into two more Mountain schools starting Feb. 17.

“We have recruited enough volunteers to do two pilot programs, one at St. Marguerite d’Youville and one at Franklin Road school,” said Deban Brunette, director of educational programs at the west Mountain centre.

Eight trained tutors will visit those schools for about a half hour twice a week to help children in grades 1-3 who are struggling with their reading skills via one-on-one sessions.

The program will run until the end of May and resume next October.

Brunette said the two schools were picked following a needs assessment and both had been on their waiting list.

With the two pilot projects, the Kids Can Succeed program will have expanded into 14 Mountain public and Catholic elementary schools since it began in one school more than 10 years ago.

There remain eight schools on the waiting list, six on the Mountain and two in the lower city.

“We have no timeline on expansion for this program,” said Brunette, who would not identify the schools on the waiting list.

She noted their recent recruitment campaign saw 18 new tutors come on board which have been split between the new and existing schools.

Overall, 110 tutors are helping 200 children on the Mountain learn to read.

“Ninety-seven percent of the children in the program last year improved their reading skills,” Brunette said.

She said it costs $7,000 to run the program at each school and that money comes from on-going fundraising.

Brunette said they are always looking for retired teachers, university students or people with post-secondary education who like working with children to join the tutoring program.

All tutors must pass a police check and undergo six hours of training.

The program is also in need of certified or retired teachers to become volunteer education consultants that help oversee tutor training.

See: n2ncentre.com for more information.

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