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Hands To Serve, Hearts To Love

Every Monday and Wednesday after school, students shuffle into room 408. The students range from freshmen to seniors, though they’re all there for the same reason: to tutor elementary school students. Two buildings down, at Oakridge Elementary School, first, second, and third graders wait excitedly for their “CB Mentors” to arrive. Led by Ms. Amy Neff, […]

EMMA LY

Every Monday and Wednesday after school, students shuffle into room 408. The students range from freshmen to seniors, though they’re all there for the same reason: to tutor elementary school students.

Two buildings down, at Oakridge Elementary School, first, second, and third graders wait excitedly for their “CB Mentors” to arrive.

Led by Ms. Amy Neff, Ms. Lisa Bronson, and Mr. Julian Elorduy ’03, the members of the Lasallian Youth Club, spend an hour tutoring Oakridge students as well as become a sibling figure in the students’ lives.

“Not all the kids have someone who sits down with them every day,” Sofia Linares (’18) says.

Tutoring rowdy first through third graders has quite a few challenges. For one, first graders aren’t enthusiastic about adding and subtracting. They also expect the tutors to give them the answer, and it has proven to be a challenge to teach the students without accidentally revealing the answer.

For Emma Talley (’19), the hardest part about tutoring young children is encouraging the students and keeping them motivated to complete their homework.

“Sometimes the kids have low confidence and give up,” she says.

Despite the everyday struggles of tutoring, the benefits of Lasallian Youth bring students back to the program each year.

For Simon Bell (’19), the rewards come from the happiness of the students he works with every Monday and Wednesday.

“Feeling the kids’ gratitude is my favorite part,” he says.

For Sofia, making connections with the kids is her favorite part of the whole tutoring experience at Oakridge.

“Young kids can talk and talk, they’re so full of life!” she says. “It’s a nice break from our lives in high school.”

Another advantage of tutoring such young kids is that you don’t have to be a math genius to complete first-grade addition. One of the girls I was tutoring looked at me like I was a wizard when I told her what five plus three was without having to use my fingers to help. Her face lit up like the sun as she counted my fingers to see if my answer was correct.

Much like high schoolers, elementary school students aren’t fond of homework, but the members of Lasallian Youth work to make math sheets and spelling words fun for the students they tutor.

The members of Lasallian Youth use their hands to serve and their hearts to love both in and out of the classroom.

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