For the past three years, 826michigan has operated an after-school tutoring program at Ypsilanti Middle School. This program pairs trained volunteers with young people for an afternoon of sustained silent reading, homework help, snacks, and creative writing games. Tutoring occurs in a classroom at the middle school and runs from Monday through Thursday, 2:30pm-5:30pm. Students commit to attending at least once a week, although many choose to come more often.
This program makes a real impact in the lives of the students. One parent told us, “I’ve seen a difference with my daughter. She had a glow in her face that she wanted to be part of the program, without hesitation, without us twisting her arm. She comes home and tells us what’s going on, and she speaks so highly of all the tutors. . .She likes the program because she sees improvement in her grades.”
This fall will mark 826michigan’s fourth year at YMS, and we’re ready to make this program even more awesome. There are many benefits to hosting the program right in the school: it’s convenient for students and parents, it helps us build connections in the Ypsilanti public schools, and it works well for our Ypsilanti-based volunteers. However, one major drawback is that it means that students end up staying at their school for quite a long time. Once the program ends at 5:30, students have been in the same building since 7:15am -- a day of over 10 hours. This would be challenging for anybody, but for active middle schoolers it is grueling.
826michigan’s tutoring lab in downtown Ann Arbor is a colorful, comfortable space where students feel welcomed and excited to learn. (Not to mention our robot store, which has a magnetic attraction all its own.) Unfortunately, many of the students who participate in our program at YMS have never seen it! In the 2012-2013 school year, we want to connect our YMS students to this beautiful space with a series of field trips to 826michigan.
Funded by Ann Arbor, MI (September 2012)