ECV’s summer programming is not just for our little ones! In 2011, ECV piloted a free Tutoring and Mentoring Program targeting middle and high school students who ‘aged out’ of our After School Program and/or live in Eggerts Crossing Village. Due to the success of the program, ECV extended the program from one to two days a week and now has summer sessions.
Three years ago, the program’s coordinators proposed hosting a session once a week for tutors to assist students with summer assignments and provide fun enrichment activities. Some doubts loomed. Would teenagers want to come to ECV during the summer when they can be hanging out with their friends? The answer – yes! After summer assignments are completed, there are various stations set up through our community center. At these stations, students are learning Latin and performing science experiments like creating slime and watching a liquid/solid viscosity experiment (a.k.a. making ice cream).
Having the program during the summer months has helped to strengthen the bonds formed between tutors and students during the school year. Here is what two of our dedicated volunteers from the program have to say about their experiences working as tutors in the program:
“Although I am a tutor at ECV, I am truly the one being taught. Every single child is so inspiring and it fills my soul with happiness and joy to help out here. Whether it’s been a long day of chemistry homework, or a short fun day of making ice cream- the experience is like no other. These children are so gracious in everything you do for them, and that is so rewarding. With only a few months of being here, I can’t imagine myself anywhere else on a Tuesday night.” -Samantha Singh
“I began volunteering at ECV after relocating from a facilities management position at the University of Washington to Princeton University. At both UW and Princeton, community involvement and mentoring were stressed as equally important to the University as our 9-to-5 work. ECV has been a great experience. I work with middle school students once a week to help with homework, projects, and studying for tests. What I hope that the kids take away from our time together is the value and satisfaction of a job well done, even if the subject is not personally interesting to them. They are great kids and middle school homework has not gotten any easier! But just getting to interact with them each week and see how they're doing and what they are interested in or excited about is why I volunteer. Every evening I have spent at ECV has been the best thing I did, personally or professionally, for that week.”
Our volunteer base has expanded over the years too. When it started, it was largely ETS volunteers. Now, ECV also has formed a collaboration with the Rider University chemistry department. Given that many of our students struggle with subjects like chemistry and other sciences, we at ECV were very excited to have Rider students with this expertise as well as in math tutoring these teens. Now, the Rider students work alongside ETS volunteers as well as volunteers from the community.
As the program continues to grow, we are in need of more volunteers for the upcoming school year on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. If you are interested in volunteering, please email Rachel Collazo at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more about our collaboration with Rider at https://www.rider.edu/news/2017/12/30/rider-chemistry-students-provide-stem-tutoring-local-nonprofit.