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The Safe Passage Tutoring Program complements the educational reinforcement children receive daily at the project. Tutors aid students who could use a little bit of extra help with basic math and reading concepts. The goal of our program is to work individually with as many students as effectively possible in order for them to understand what they are learning and catch up to their classmates. We strive for our students to become more active participants in their classrooms and to gain the confidence and self-esteem that is so vital for their personal growth.
Students at Safe Passage face many obstacles in their every day life that can cause them to fall behind. Although some of our students face learning disabilities, the majority of students who are in tutoring are there because they have never had the individual attention at home or in their public schools that is necessary to learn the basics correctly.
The Tutoring Program is staffed with a program coordinator and two full time tutors. Each tutor works with 15-25 students individually, for forty minutes, twice a week. We also provide assistance from Guatemalan university students, Guatemalan volunteers, and foreign volunteers. The tutoring program reaches about 80 students per year who need extra help, or about one in seven students at Safe Passage.
The Tutoring Program started in 2011 with just one tutor. In that year, 37 students received individual tutoring, and the results of that individual attention were astonishing. Twenty students started out the year receiving tutoring. Out of those 20 students, 15 of them passed, including eight out of 10 first graders who started the year with little to no recognition of their own Spanish alphabet. This is far higher than the Guatemalan average, especially in this difficult demographic. We believe that we work with very intelligent children, but for any number of reasons, these students have fallen behind and have been unable to catch up. With the help of individual attention, these students will be able to reach their potential and gain confidence, realizing how intelligent they actually are!
Along with the physical results that are easier to see, the Tutoring Program has also had immeasurable results such as improvements in the students’ behavior, confidence, and social skills. When a child believes in him or herself academically, he or she has less of a reason to disrupt the classroom or make fun of other students. The students participate more in the classroom and interact more with their fellow classmates and friends.