If you would like more information about the home tutoring program, or are interested in becoming a volunteer tutor, please fill out an application. For more information on what the tutoring experience is like, please take a look at some of the testimonials written by our volunteers.
Refugee students learning English as a Second Language (ESL) face many challenges acquiring proficiency in written and spoken English. Upon arrival in the United States students who have had limited academic instruction in their native country are often placed in school systems without the necessary support. Unrealistic academic expectations are compounded by a gap in family support due to language, cultural, and educational barriers. Magnifying these challenges are the cultural and social hurdles students come across adjusting to life in the United States.
In the spring of 2010, in response to a needs assessment of refugee students and their families, TRR initiated its Home Tutoring Program. The goal of this program is to connect refugee students with volunteer tutors who provide academic support aimed at increasing student performance to grade level standards. TRR believes these connections are vital for student development. The relationships between students and tutors not only result in increased confidence in English language skills but also increased comfort in new communities.
The TRR Home Tutoring Program provides one-on-one home tutoring to over thirty refugee students in Cleveland, Ohio. All students accepted into the program are performing below grade level academically. TRR matches each refugee student with a volunteer tutor who must apply and be approved before attending mandatory trainings held by TRR staff. Volunteer tutors meet with their student once a week for two hours. During this time, tutors assist with homework, complete worksheets and activities from the TRR curriculum, and spend time developing a relationship with the student and his or her family. Each home is monitored by the Education Director who schedules tutors and provides curriculum materials and resources. The director also provides bimonthly student assessments, conducts tutor trainings, and maintains contact with the students’ teachers throughout the year.
The benefits to participating in the Home Tutoring program are innumerable. Refugee students gain confidence academically and socially. Volunteer tutors form relationships with refugee students and their families. Cleveland’s communities become interconnected through cross-cultural understanding and a sense of social responsibility. The ultimate benefit of this program is that it provides refugee students with the much needed additional instruction time and the direct one-on-one assistance that is so critical to personal and academic development.
Collaboration with NDCL
Since 2010 Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin School has been a special partner with TRR, providing assistance with the home tutoring program with the children from Burma. Each week, ten to twelve students and faculty members make an hour commute from Munson Township to Lakewood, individually tutor the children for two hours and then add on another hour as they return home. In addition to the time commitment, each student demonstrates the core values of Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin School by creating a very positive environment and setting an example for the children. With the aforementioned contributions from NDCL students, it is not surprising we have seen significant growth in the children’s development.
We are excited to announce this summer NDCL is graciously hosting a camp for the children on NDCL’s campus. What a great opportunity and a unique experience for both, refugees and students!
We are extremely grateful to NDCL for providing this unbelievable opportunity and look forward to future opportunities and hopefully creating successful partnerships with other local academic institutions.