Neighborhood Tutoring Program, News, Student Perspectives, Student Spotlight

My Experience at FLOC (Libby’s Report)

Libby is a FLOC 8th grader and future journalist. She’s reporting to us today from the Saturday Afternoon Reading program. Here’s Libby:

Libby and Sarah Post Test 1Hello, my name is Libby, and I’m in the eighth grade. Today, I will be telling about my experience in FLOC and how it helps me learn.

This year, I have learned a lot in FLOC. I have improved in my vocabulary and in my reading in school. My teachers were really excited when I improved in my reading. I think FLOC is a great place for someone who needs help with reading or math. I also improved on my writing because my tutor Sarah and I do journaling. Journaling is when you have to pick a subject and write about it and then your tutor checks for any mistakes and how you can improve. I think improvements will help me because I want to become a journalist or a lawyer, but for each one you need reading and writing. FLOC is the best place to improve on reading or math.

My favorite memory of FLOC is when I met Sarah. Sarah was really nice to me when I met her and that was my favorite memory because it was the first time meeting someone from the government (Sarah works for government when she’s not volunteering). Sarah is really a understanding person. She’s nice, caring, radical, makes delicious cookies and is THE BEST TUTOR EVER!!! If Sarah is in FLOC next year I hope I’ll be with her again.

Libby and Sarah College Week

In conclusion, I think anyone who reads this should take my advice because FLOC is a great way to catch up to your education.

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GW Interns/Tutors, Neighborhood Tutoring Program, News, Volunteer Spotlight

Meet Tom and Jess: Tutors & Team Leaders

For nearly 20 years, FLOC has had an invaluable partnership with George Washington University’s DC Reads program, a program of the Honey W. Nashman Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service. Through this partnership, GW students (both volunteers and federal work study employees) are placed as tutors in nonprofits like FLOC. This year,  more than 30 GW DC Reads tutors are placed at FLOC.

Tom Guettler and Jess Williams are serving this year as team leaders for FLOC through the DC Reads program, and they both tutor reading at FLOC during the week.

Tom and Jess

How did you first become involved with For Love of Children?

Tom: I first heard about FLOC through Community Building Community, which is a pre-orientation program for freshman at GW. FLOC sounded like a great way to get involved in the DC community, and some of the guides had great things to say about DC reads as a whole!

Jess: I was looking for a way to get involved in community service when I came to GW, and some friends told me about DC Reads! From there, I chose to work with FLOC, because I was shocked that a city as educated as Washington, DC still has such a high illiteracy rate among children.

What does being a DC Reads Team Leader entail? What do you enjoy about it?

Tom: Generally speaking, we help promote FLOC and generate student interest. Jess and I are also here to be a resource for the GW students who work at FLOC. We help students with their federal work-study arrangements, rescheduling trainings, and facilitate contacting the FLOC office.

Jess: I really enjoy being a resource for students, and having people come to me for help! As coordinators, we also host events within the GW FLOC community. We’ll have movie nights where we share food and watch an educational film, and recently we had a reflection event. Students brought food, and we spent the afternoon discussing out tutoring experiences and sharing stories.

Speaking of reflection, do you have a favorite FLOC memory?

Tom: Last winter, my schedule changed and I wasn’t going to be able to tutor the same student anymore. After I had told both my student and site-coordinator, I ended up changing classes, and was able to return on the same day the following semester. My student was expecting to have a new tutor, and he was excited when I showed up! The coordinator had not told him I was returning, and it meant a lot to know that he cared about having me as a tutor, specifically.

Jess: My story is similar! Last year, I was explaining to my student that I had to go home for summer break. She became a little upset, and repeatedly said she would miss me, asking why I had to leave. I hadn’t realized how close we had become in such a short amount of time, but it meant a lot that she cared whether or not I was there.

Imagine you have sixty seconds to convince someone to tutor with FLOC. What do you say?

Tom: Do it! Tutoring with FLOC has changed the preconceived notions I had about non-profits–FLOC is well-organized, easy to work with, and makes a tangible impact. Tutoring is a wonderful way to give back to the community, and you grow as a person as well.

Jess: Tutoring with FLOC is an excellent way to get out of the “Foggy Bottom bubble,” that you so often hear about here. There is so much more to DC than our neighborhood, and I’m proud to say that I’m invested here. I feel as though I’ve become a citizen of DC, not just a student.

(Samantha Bailey is the Bilingual Recruitment and Outreach Coordinator at FLOC.)

Neighborhood Tutoring Program, News, Student Spotlight

Selfies for Math Success

The Thursday night math program at Jubilee has very energetic and curious students. This past Thursday, dynamic duo Denim and Tawanda shared with me how they came to be best friends and what they love most about FLOC. Both students are first graders working on Unit 1 in our math curriculum. They are also paired with two tutors who also happen to be friends with each other, volunteering at FLOC together. In exchange for this interview I allowed them take selfies on the FLOC cell phone:

denimI love coming to FLOC with Tawanda. We get to talk to our tutors, play math games, and have snacks. Our tutors also let us dance together during break. I dance better than Tawanda! ” -Denim, 1st grader
tawanda“Denim and I are best friends. We have sleepovers and play Michael Jackson and sing and dance. At FLOC we race each other doing math worksheets and then our tutors let us dance.” -Tawanda, 1st grader

(Felise Ortiz is an NTP site coordinator and the supervisor of the Thursday night math program at Jubilee Housing.)

Neighborhood Tutoring Program, News

Spring Successes in Saturday Reading

Spring is definitely a busy time here at FLOC. Within the past couple of weeks, we’ve had several new students and tutors start during our Saturday PM Reading Program. Students are starting and finishing new chapter books each week. This past week, Maniyah and her tutor finished reading The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. Additionally, I’ve been impressed by how much our students have been testing. Testing is one of the ways FLOC sees that a student understands the material and can move onto more challenging concepts. Our last two reading sessions, our testing list has been two solid pages. During our last tutoring session, our testers gave a total of 31 tests!

Screen Shot 2014-04-24 at 5.11.46 PM

We had a friendly competition start between two of our middle school students, Gabriel and Nata, in the reading program. Gabriel and Nata (6th and 8th graders, respectively) were working together on their Wilson lessons, until we could find a sub for Nata. Gabriel passed his test with flying colors and so Nata and Gabriel parted ways. In the true spirit of competition, Nata wanted to test and be on the same lesson as Gabriel. Nata passed the test and wanted to test again in order to be farther in the curriculum. Nata passed a total of 3 Wilson tests in one day, while Gabriel found a new way to practice using his vocabulary words—by writing a letter trash-talking Nata. This playful competition challenged Gabriel to think about the multiple meanings of his vocabulary words and how to use them most effectively.

(Tamarae Hildebrandt is an NTP site coordinator for the Saturday Afternoon Reading program.)

Neighborhood Tutoring Program

Thursday Nights at FLOC: Soundbites

Thursday night math program at FLOC has some of our most energetic and outspoken students. From the time they arrive in the student room to snack time to dismissal, our students are excited to learn and play with their tutors. I have had the pleasure of serving as site coordinator upstairs with our middle school and high school students. It has been a great experience watching them advance in the curriculum and bond with their tutors. Last week I asked a few of our students what their favorite part of program is. I was both surprised and amused by their answers…

nicole“I love snack time and playing math games with my tutor. I also like when she [my tutor] lets me show her my new cheerleading moves.” -Nicole, 5th grade

paola

“I like talking to my tutor and Felise and Ms. Queen… even when they tell me to get to work.” -Paola, 8th grade

gerald

“I like trashketball. I like football. I like when my tutor or sub is young enough to play.” -Gerald, 6th grade

henry 2

“I like playing Uno and Connect Four with my tutor. We get to play more when I pass a test, so I guess I like that too.” -Henry, 7th grade

sanaa

“I like the gifts we get from FLOC for Christmas, and I like talking to my tutor.” -Sanaa, 6th grade

(Felise Ortiz is a Neighborhood Tutoring Program site coordinator for 3 programs, including Thursday Night Math.) 

Neighborhood Tutoring Program, Volunteer Spotlight

Meet Mark

MarkFabrosMark Fabros serves as a tutor with the FLOC Neighborhood Tutoring Program. In this role, he tutors high school student Bryant on Saturday mornings in Math.

This is Mark’s second school year tutoring with FLOC. He heard about FLOC through his girlfriend, who knew he wanted to volunteer in math tutoring.  Mark has always enjoyed and been good at math, so he felt it was important to help improve students’ math skills. Mark feels that a big problem this country is currently facing is income inequality, which is driven by inequality of educational outcomes.

Mark enjoys seeing his students persevere through concepts they struggle with and ultimately make progress.  “It’s even rewarding to see how they learn from their mistakes when they don’t pass the test the first time around.”

Bryant, Mark’s student this year, is the oldest student Mark has worked with since joining FLOC, and so they relate to each other easily.  Bryant is really smart, works hard, and is always anxious to learn something new. They are currently working on multiplication with larger numbers, and Bryant is doing well, so he and Mark are very excited to be moving onto long division soon.

(Vanessa Hanible is the Recruitment and Outreach Associate.)

Neighborhood Tutoring Program, Volunteer Spotlight

Meet Madeleine

Madeleine FazioMadeleine Fazio serves as a math tutor with the FLOC Neighborhood Tutoring Program. She tutors one student on Thursday nights at FLOC and another on Wednesday afternoons at Tyler Elementary. Madeleine, a senior at the George Washington University, first heard about FLOC through GW’s DC Reads Program during her freshman year.

Madeleine has been tutoring at FLOC since the fall of 2011. This year, Madeleine works with two students: Asaah and Melvin.  Both are very motivated.  Asaah likes to fill Madeleine in on everything that is going on at school and talk like peers. This makes working with her very easy because she is very comfortable, loving to crack a joke to make them both laugh. Asaah loves Uno and the Monopoly game with the credit cards.

Melvin is also very motivated. He never says no to anything he is asked to do.  He is so determined to learn that sometimes Madeleine will offer to play a math game for a break, but he just wants to keep learning.

One of the best parts of tutoring, according to Madeleine, is when all of a sudden something just clicks. Asaah always complains about having to take tests, but when she comes out with her passing sheet, she is always so happy. “I think those are my favorite moments working with her,” says Madeleine. “My favorite moment with Melvin was when he won math war–he was so happy! Every week we play the card game war, only with addition and subtraction facts, and he is always very motivated to win that specific game. He will ask to play it just to try to win.”

In addition to tutoring with FLOC, Madeleine is the editor-in-chief of The Cherry Tree Yearbook at GW, which she really enjoys. She is also the president of the GW student chapter of the Association for Women in Mathematics. Madeleine will graduate from GW in May.  Starting in September, she will be teaching secondary mathematics in New York City for Teach for America.

(Vanessa Hanible is the Recruitment and Outreach Associate.)