On Saturdays at 10am, our dedicated bunch of literacy tutors arrives in Bedford-Stuyvesant to work with the 3rd graders of P.S. 243. They fold themselves into undersized chairs and sit amid stacks of books and baskets of school supplies while their students work through the week’s curriculum of reading, writing and math exercises. It’s an inspiring thing to see nine-year-olds curled intently over their desks, and we like to think it’s the coolness factor of their tutors that can make arithmetic and language arts the preferred activities on a Saturday morning.
These sessions are all about literacy—both in terms of reading comprehension and in terms of applying language to other concepts in school. If you hated math because of word problems, you know exactly the kind of paralysis some of our students experience when they read, “Two trains leave the station at the same time heading in different directions…”
It’s not all serious, though. In between Duck for President and multiplication, our tutoring pairs have found plenty of moments to look forward to from week to week. Whether they’re skipping down the halls or discussing the merits of apple juice over soda, they’re making light work of often heavy subjects.
Finally, big thanks to the contingent from Brooklyn Technical College, whose turnout has been hugely responsible for the success of this new venture. You guys are awesome.
And with that, meet a few of the folks who’ve settled into P.S. 243 for the semester: