New opportunities for student tutors

Starting next spring semester, the financial aid office will be offering Skyline students the opportunity to provide tutorial assistance to elementary school aged children who are not meeting the standards for reading and mathematics.This new program, Skyline College America Counts Tutoring Program (SCACTP), will be targeted towards those students interested in providing services for the community and for those looking to become teachers. Erica Torres of the financial aid office is leading this development hoping to get as many students involved as possible. She came up with this idea for Skyline students when she realized how many young children are below the learning par they should be at. “Only 32 percent of fourth grade students read at their own reading level,” Torres said. “This is way below what it should be. This is also why we want to put college students in elementary schools to tutor so these children get to the appropriate level.”Torres said one of the primary goals of this program is to motivate college students in working with local elementary schools, which will not only benefit the children but also the adults. Another goal is to provide experience for students who want to go into education and to learn to communicate with children.SCACTP will not begin until January 12, 2004, when elementary schools are back from winter break. The financial aid office is taking applications right now and the first nine applicants who qualify will be paid $9.25 an hour.In order to be eligible, students must have completed English 836 or English 100, Math 110 with a grade of a B or better.Torres is hoping that many people will also want to volunteer. They are asking for all students to commit a minimum of a year to SCACTP in order to ensure stability within the program.”We are hoping to contract as many student volunteers as possible,” Torres said. “We are limited on funds and can only afford to pay those first nine applicants, but the whole idea that the program is based on is what we are hoping will attract students.”