There are many reasons why our students progress as much as they do here at FLOC’s Neighborhood Tutoring Program. Some attribute their success to their amazing tutors who work tirelessly to ensure their students are able to master the concepts they are learning at FLOC. Others are motivated by the idea of getting to college and they realize that the harder they work at FLOC, the closer they will be to attaining their dreams. There are others for whom those aforementioned motivators hold meaning, but they still need something else to get them going.
This is why FLOC has established the FLOC Incentive Store. At several points during the school year, the FLOC staff stocks up on inexpensive items at Target or Five Below that students might like as an incentive. During program, students are able to earn 0-3 stars from their tutors at every session based on their academic progress and behavior. Students can then exchange their stars every two weeks for an item at the FLOC Store. Our store has been very popular because not only can students get small incentives for their work every two weeks, but they can also put larger items on “layaway” until they have accumulated the necessary stars to win the item of their choice.
This brings us to Delchristoff: one of our more energetic students in the Saturday Math program who has been with FLOC for a few years now. He is excited about our program and the opportunity to meet new staff and tutors each year. Last fall, he met Jason Aiken, a new tutor with FLOC, and they have been inseparable ever since. This year, they have been working on Regrouping with Subtraction so that Delchristoff can gain mastery of this concept.
Last Saturday, Delchristoff came to store with 4 stars. He noticed that we had a new item in our store that he really wanted – a Redskins hoop set – valued at 40 stars, so he asked me to put it on layaway for him to purchase in December. Although it seemed unlikely that he would be able to earn 36 stars in the next 4 sessions, I asked him what he needed to do in order to get the necessary stars for the set. He told me that all he needs to work on is sitting on his chair – more specifically he needs to sit still and do all of his work. Jason, his tutor, laughed and agreed. It seems that Delchristoff gets very animated when working on Math and he prefers to learn through games instead of the traditional worksheet method. While we definitely encourage the use of games during program, his tutor would like Delchristoff to also get more comfortable with the worksheets in order to work on his mental math skills (i.e. stop counting on his fingers) and to work on his very large handwriting.
If Delchristoff is able to work on these goals, Jason believes that he will be able to get 40 stars by the end of the school year in May. Let’s hope Delchristoff sticks to his goals so that he can earn more stars each week for his hoop set… and, of course, get closer to grade level in math!
(Aurin Agramonte is the Bilingual Program Coordinator in the Neighborhood Tutoring Program and the site supervisor for the Saturday morning math program.)