24 September 2014

America Reads 2014-2015 September Blog Prompt






ATTN: America Reads Tutors

What have you learned so far about the America Reads community partner where you are earning your award?  What skills or talents do you bring to your America Reads community partner? How will these skills and talents benefit the children you are tutoring? Returning tutors what do you bring to this second term or year?


54 comments:

  1. I have learned that Nibley Park Elementary is an amazing school, and a wonderful asset to the community. From entering the school to leaving the school you feel welcomed and appreciated! I am very grateful to volunteer at such a wonderful school. A couple of the attributes that I bring are, that I am a people person and like to help others. I also enjoying reading and seeing individuals succeed. I feel that these attributes will help the children that I tutor to succeed, learn both them and I, and also know that they are appreciated. Learning and working together with other tutors, helped me last year in working with America Reads, and I feel that doing that again this year will help and strengthen me again this year as a tutor.
    H.P.

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    1. Nibley really is fantastic. Being a people person can be very helpful in our line of work.
      -AS

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    2. I can't wait to start tutoring here! I am excited about the organization and all the wonderful things I have heard!

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    3. I have heard so many great things about Nibley. I'm sure you enjoy working there. I think enjoying to read is so essential to get kids excited about reading. Sounds like you really love being an AR tutor :) B.F

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    4. I have to point out how much I agree about feeling wanted there. I mean, even going to check in, in the main office the secretaries tell you how wonderful you are for tutoring there and tell you thank you about 10 times before you walk out of the office. Sherrie is wonderful beyond words and also praises you over and over again. Brian H.

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    5. Nibley Park is amazing, and indeed very welcoming. Even going and checking in at the office, of with I agree with previous comments, you do feel welcome and acknowledge from the moment you walk in the door to check in. It is a wonderful feeling to be treated like a person, and not just a number. Sherrie is amazing and always says "hello" and asks how you are doing. That to me is a great feeling.

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  2. What have you learned so far about the America Reads community partner where you are earning your award? What skills or talents do you bring to your America Reads community partner? How will these skills and talents benefit the children you are tutoring? Returning tutors what do you bring to this second term or year?

    So far everyone i have worked with has been great! i have learned that Whittier Elementary has a large amount of students that are high needs. This includes students who are English Language learners. The America Reads program is very beneficial for these types of students by helping them shrink the learning gap. I also see that Whittier could benefit from having someone who works more closely with America Reads tutors to make sure that we are being effective in addressing the needs of the students we work with and providing us with any special instruction needed for a task. I have been a Title 1 tutor in the past and have used the Early Steps, Bev. Tiner & Next Step programs to do reading interventions and small groups. I am preparing to applying some of this knowledge with a few students at Whittier and will not need very much instruction. I have also worked with the after school and summer school programs before, which helps me to be a competent asset in addressing behavior and lesson structuring aspects of tutoring. My experience and knowledge already has allowed me to hit the ground running in my tutoring duties, which increases the benefit to the students i work with and makes teacher's jobs easier. cls

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    1. Glad you're feeling at home!
      With your previous tutoring experience, I can see how you will be a valuable asset to the America Reads program.
      -AS

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    2. You will be a great asset to Whittier, especially with your past tutoring experience. Would you be willing to share some of what you learned with the other tutoring you did? I think that it would be helpful to us other tutors.

      H.P.

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    3. There are soo many times I wish I had that training to really help a kid understand. Often times, teachers will hand me a stack of materials and I don't know the best way to utilize them. I think Whittier is the best place you could have the most influence on. Nice job in using your skills! B.F.

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    4. I also have had worked with kids as a volunteer before I start working as America Reads tutor. I really have a passion and tolerance for kids. For this reason this tutoring experience is like a fun time for me. I like seeing a change in the kids that I am tutoring at Whittier Elementary. Thanks. Lidia

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  3. I am in my third year as an America Reads tutor. I bring to the table some valuable experience as well as a patient and understanding demeanor. I will use these skills to continue in assisting children in increasing their reading abilities.

    -AS

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    1. Welcome back! It is important to be patient and understanding in America Reads, especially dealing with children and sometimes the teachers too. Excited to work with you!

      H.P.

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    2. And with every year you get better and better! Congrats on your third year with AR. As for me I wouldn't want it any other way! Love the experience and the people. I hope you enjoy your year!

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    3. Congratulations on being a third year America Reads tutor. I am hearing that you have had some valuable experiences and have developed some great skills. I hope that you will be able to share some of those experiences and skills with us, as returning tutors and new tutors. This is the place to be a teacher as well as a student.

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    4. There are many kids that struggle and get frustrated which makes it somewhat difficult for us tutors, so patience and being understanding are very valuable qualities to have when working with children.
      k.b

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    5. Patience will be a fantastic attribute to bring to any work place and will be beneficial in pretty much all aspects of life. You can't go wrong with that. Congrats on starting your 3rd year as a tutor. That is something to feel really good about. Brian H.

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    6. Being back is a wonderful feeling. You never get bored with this job, and it's true what Anna says about you get better and better the more you are in the program. This is my third semester back and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

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  4. I have tried to post this 3 times, haha, I hope it works this time. I haven't actually started tutoring yet but this will be my 2nd year with America Reads. Last year I was at Whittier and it was nice because all of my classes were at the South City Campus. This year I am mostly at Taylorsville so I have decided to go to Nibley and I am very excited from all the positive comments I have heard about Sherrie and how organized it is. I have 5 kids and tutored in their classes when my older ones were in Elementary school so I had a little experience with tutoring. I really enjoy spending my time helping children with extra help to make the rest of their studies easier. Once children become good readers other subjects are also a little easier (though I disagree on this with math, because it hasn't help me at all in math, LOL!) I love working with the kids, I love seeing their progress and since I am studying to be an elementary school educator working with the kids renews my enthusiasm (which sometimes wanes) for the field I have chosen. I also enjoy seeing the technological advances in the classrooms, last year prior to coming to Whittier I had no idea what a smart board was and learned about them and how to use them which has come in quite handy for my technology in the classroom course. Every little bit of time spent actually working directly with the children is fun for me, I can't imagine doing anything else with my work study. Lynne has been amazing and I enjoy all the tutors I have gotten to know and have had the privilege to work with.

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    1. It is great to have you in our circle over at Nibley Park. See, we weren't kidding when we told everyone how awesome Sherrie is! You will find that she has a way of putting you with the students that fit your personality and skills. Somehow she just knows which student need which tutor. I love that you have so much experience with different types of situations and that we will be able to learn from you. You are right, Lynne is amazing! I am also enjoying getting to know all the tutors. We are an awesome team. Go America Reads!

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    2. Anna! So excited that you will be at Nibley I really do love it. I think there is a new community partner which is close by Taylorsville campus and much closer to home and I considered it for maybe a minute before I thought Nope! I want to go back to Nibley Park! You are absolutely right too when kids become independent readers other subjects are much easier for them.
      k.b.

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  5. Before I started tutoring my exposure to kids was limited to those of my sister. I knew when and how to correct them and I also knew how they would respond. My first day at the ymca was an eye opener. Seeing how children not only interacted with each other but how they responded to each adult was interesting. Learning to respond and help each kid individually will be a challenge. I was so thankful for how helpful and friendly everyone at the ymca was. I can't wait to go back and learn more!

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    1. It can be a lot to take in the first time that you are working with more than one child, or more than family! I'm sure that you're getting the hang of it and will do great. The best thing that I have learned in dealing with children and how they interact is to give them options. If they are doing something they know they shouldn't, instead of telling them "no," give them the option of what the consequence will be, AND what they could do instead. It's always good to replace instead of take away... At least this has worked for me and I have had wonderful results.
      Good luck on you new journey! There is ALWAYS new things to learn-- children teach us SO much, every day.

      AMDLP

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  6. The only time I had available had been from 10-12:30 on a Friday at the YMCA. The little kids were super nice but it felt like I was babysitting which was my bad the kids who read are in school obviously. I came in and the teacher had left me and another volunteer who'd just begun but I taught them how to do the Hokey Pokey! I've been looking forward to reading with the kids so i just havent had the availability. I've finally received some help with childcare starting next week so that should make a big difference.

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    1. I am trying to talk myself into going and volunteering at the YMCA. I don't know why I am dragging my feet. All those I have talked to say what an great place it is to earn our rewards. I have a pretty heavy schedule but I am looking for just a few hours that I can go and get to know the program. I love working with the little ones as I am a Grandma with Pre-school and Kindergarten age grand daughters. I am a Pro at understanding how they work! I have worked in several Child care centers with 2 and 3 year olds and enjoy watching them grow and develop in all the different areas of development. I love doing the Hokey Pokey!

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    2. I have started working few hours at YMCA on Tuesday and Thursdays. I also work with the little kids. Even though I did not help them to read I sometimes read story books for them. At first I was not sure if I was going to like working there, but now I am so happy with the adorable kids. Thanx. Lidia

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  7. I am not sure how many years SLCC students have been earning their reward from tutoring at Nibley Park Elementary but I have learned that there will probably always be a need for awesome tutors. The circle is endless in their need for us! I feel that I bring the skills and talents of patience and caring to the students I work with. They are beginning to open up to me about things outside of reading. I know the boundaries of how involved I should get with students, but they know that they have a friend when I am working with them. My students always seem to be a good fit for me. As a returning tutor I am opening my mind to better ways of helping students learn to read.I also feel like I bring fun and joy to the students at Nibley Park Elementary as they have seen me many times. They know that I am a safe person ,who likes to “high five” them in the lunch line.

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    1. You sound like a really awesome tutor. I can see how the kids would just love to have you as a friend. I do think that more schools need that fun attitude to make learning easier and enjoyable. It's great your a returning tutor, even now there are so many things I have learned from just a few months so I'm sure your experience is extremely beneficial. Good luck with everything :) B.F

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    2. I agree that the teachers need us! There are so many students to one teacher, that I can feel the stress and overwhelming pressure. I am at Whittier, and this is what I see. It's nice to know that not only can we help individual students to learn and help them through their struggles, but it's also nice to be able to help those teachers that seem to have more children than hands! That's great that you have a strong relationship with your students-- having their confidence in you will help them to better be able to learn.

      -AMDLP

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  8. I am so excited to be able to come back to Nibley Park. Everyone at this school is so nice and they are always smiling. It is evident that everyone who works here just loves their job and they really do make you feel welcome and comfortable. As for my skills or talents I believe I am patient, I love interacting with these kids, and I try to get the kids excited about coming to read with me (those don’t sound like real talents…). I am always eager to learn something new and I want the kids to feel the same way. I try to pick at least one book a day that will teach us something new, I use the globe in the classroom quite often, I try and encourage them to ask questions and if I don’t know the answer I say I will research that and we will talk about it next time. This second year I think I bring experience, I know that not each kid learns the same way so I try to get to figure out what they are struggling with and try to come up with something that will work for them, that may bring them a challenge but that will still be fun.

    K.B

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    1. I am so glad that you are back at Nibley! You are a wonderful tutor, and I learn from you too. As well as implement some of your skills with my students. Thank you!
      H.P.

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  9. I have learned so much tutoring at Whittier Elementary. For one, I rotate through different grades and teachers and it's so interesting to see each instructors teaching style. I'm also amazed at the evident gap in some readers versus others. Some kids I tutor can catch right on, yet with others they can't seem to grasp it even with the repetition. I feel so excited when they do understand it. I think I'm a great tutor because I'm a very supporting person and I absolutely love teaching. I was also homeschooled during grade school so I can bring in a very different perspective then most. I think the most important thing about being a tutor is giving them that motivation to read and the belief in themselves that they are capable.

    B.F

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    1. I also work at Whittier elementary. I agree with you that the students’ capacity is different from one another. However I strongly belief that this difference happens because of the time the kids get to study is lesser and they might not get enough help from home. If kids get enough amounts of help there is no way they will be behind from their classmates. For this reason I am thinking to focus more on the struggling kids this semester. thank you. Lidia

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    2. I love your last sentence- "I think the most important thing about being a tutor is giving them that motivation to read and the belief in themselves that they are capable."
      I completely agree with that. There are so many insecure students I'm working with, and when I encourage them they seem to light up and want to do better. I also encourage them that it's okay to "struggle through it." I tell them that it's all a part of the learning process, and it's okay to not understand some things the first time around. Encouragement has already gotten them farther than without it. Sometimes they just need to be told that they ARE worth it, that they ARE capable of doing more than they believe. :)

      -AMDLP

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  10. This is the second year that I start working as America Reads tutor. I have been working at Whittier last semester and now I am also working at YMCA. Helping students to read and looking the change in their reading makes me happy. This year I want to focus more on the kids that are struggling and speak English as their second language, by giving them more time to practice. Lidia

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  11. This has been a great experience for me so far. I am a soon to be new mother, and working with children is giving me a lot of insight as to how I want to teach my own when he arrives (I'd like to homeschool my children, as well). I also am interested in becoming a teacher. Working with teachers and tutoring students is helping me to refine my ideas and methods. I feel that I am learning not only about how to more effectively help students, but also how to utilize the tools I have by making the most of them I can.

    I feel that I have some knowledge to offer children. My husband was PSR for many years and has helped me to see the best possible ways to handle difficult situations. I have also worked with students prior to this job, so bringing my experience should help me be a better teacher. I also feel that I have patience and a willingness to learn right a long with the kids, which can give confidence and help maintain a healthy student/teacher relationship.

    I am looking forward to all that I can do to help not only the students, but the teachers as well. They have a lot of children in each class and it's nice to know that I can be of some help. This experience is already a great one, and I'm happy to be a part of something that can not only benefit our youth, but our school systems.

    AMDLP

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  12. I've been very lucky to be a tutor at Nibley Park. As many have mentioned, the school is excellent and treats you so well. I want to take a different approach and mix it up with this question. I recently made a huge mistake by not being available to tutor on my day and completely forgot to let them know. I had sick kids to help my wife take care of but completely failed to remember to call and let them know the situation. This was absolutely 100% my fault and I felt so bad because I had stood up 4 kids who needed to be tutored. I was extremely lucky to be forgiven and get another chance. I mention this because I want everyone to know how important it is to be at your tutoring day(s) and if absolutely not possible, to make sure you let the school know plenty in advance. I not only learned how important it is to notify the school of not being able to be there, but to make it a priority to be there even during trying times and to try and figure a solution out so that I can be there. Don't let them down! They need our help and it is our responsibility to be there! Brian H.

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  13. I have learned that the YMCA is more than just a recreation center (they don’t even have rec centers in Utah anymore). There’s several different programs for the children to attend at the community family center as well as tutoring at the four elementary schools they partner with. They even offer free exercise classes to the community.

    The biggest thing I bring to the YMCA is the experience I have working with kids and my patience. I’m also currently taking a Spanish class and this helps me communicate better with a lot of the children, and even some of the staff, as Spanish is the first language for many of them.

    I think me learning Spanish is beneficial for the children because I can translate some things from Spanish to English and help them understand better what I’m trying to teach them. My prior experience working with kids is beneficial because I know effective ways to teach them and that has allowed me to help them better.

    -ML

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    1. While reading this, I remembered that I forgot to mention that I have the ability to also speak spanish and that benefits some of the students that I tutor as well. Thanks for reminding me, wow I can't believe I forgot this haha. That makes me so happy though, knowing spanish now a days is seriously so helpful especially with programs like these. I also help at YMCA and it is so fun! There are so many kids and their ages are different but they all get along so well, I have noticed some act like their older brother or sister. They are always their for each other and I really enjoy being there and listening to their silly stories haha. I'm glad you're liking YMCA as much as I do!
      -AA

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  14. When I first started I was so stressed out. This was my first experience tutoring children. I was worried about even about approaching them and talking to them. since i started at Nibley Park i have learned how enjoyable it is to spend time with them. When I am there I forget about every thing else in my world and it is just me and the child reading. I am a mother and like to read and like helping children. I speak more than one language so i know what it is like to not understand things or be confused. I am kind and patient with them. I understand the importance of education. FH

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  15. I have learned that Nibley has a lot of low income children that they cater to. I love that they have a reading lab that allows us as tutors to work with the students in an organized manner. Nibley is a great school that still offers an art program and offers different activities to help the children enjoy their learning experience. They have a lot of students that speak a language other than English and work hard to help these students achieve the same education as the other students. I think that they have a great staff and do the best they can to bring balance to such a diverse student body. The skills that I bring to Nibley are patience, understanding, a love of reading and learning, and a sincere love for the students. These skills and talents have benefited the students by developing an understanding of importance in their education. They have more confidence in their reading abilities and love to share their ideas about stories and their life. They know that I care about the progress that they are making and that I am there to help them because I want to see them improve and succeed.

    KL

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  16. At Nibley Park it is very colorful and there are many nice teachers. This is the fourth semester tutoring there. I tutor 8 children in grades 1 to 3rd grade. Some of them are below theri reading level but some are above their reading level. Some of them need to work on their comprehension. One little boy memorizes the story he is not seeing the words. Each child needs me to work with them on what they need help with. I have that time and can see them each week one on one. No teacher has that kind of time. Most of these children do not have parents with alot of time to work on this either, maybe they are at work, or they might have many other children. I bring patience and listening skills, and I am not their parent or teacher - I am their tutor this makes them feel Like I am just there for them. MC

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    1. Nibley Park does have a great atmosphere of teachers. And I love how you say that the kids need to be worked with one on one with what they need help with. Because that is true. And I will add that each kid learns at grows at their own pace and at their own level. We don't know what these kids lifestyle is at home, or if they are receiving help from their parents, that's why it is so important that we are there. So that we can give them the extra attention and help that they need, when the teacher can't.

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  17. By coming back this semester, after taking some time off, I have learned at Nibley Park that the staff and teachers, even the new additions, are all very nice and welcoming. Many of the staff members know who I am, and it makes going to Nibley Park all the more fun. Sherrie is always very welcoming and helpful in the tutoring room. If ever someone has a problem or questions (in relations to tutoring) she is always willing to have an answer. I have learned that the skills that I have practiced with being a mother, (but not a mother to the kids I tutor) that I have skills of patience and teaching. Lately I have had to use the skills in relation to tutoring and practicing more vocabulary, more then reading the full 30 mins. And that is great with me, because learning vocabulary is where it all starts. I enjoy working with the 3-4 kids that I tutor. They are a lot of fun.

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  18. I have just started the America Reads program this last month. I am tutoring over at Whitter Elementary and it is a blast! the kids and I are really getting to know each other and it is so fun when they are excited to see me. I also like being able to help the teachers when they are having a tough day. I am a mother of a first grader as well, so I am famliiar with how much encouragement they need and their short attention span, I am already finding ti rewarding though.
    jodi

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    1. Jodi, I can agree with how fun it is to see how excited they are when they see you! It's the cutest thing ever, I love it! I remember during my spring break, I didn't go in and whenever I came back the children were so excited to see me. Especially the kindergarten students, they mentioned how excited they were to see me! One of them thought I was going to be gone for a while but he was happy to see me back haha. I give you props for having to deal with children and how you willing to also help the teachers. I can only imagine how stressful the teachers might feel. You're awesome, I'm sure they are so happy to have you there! :)
      -AA

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  19. I am earing my award at Nibley Park. I have learned that this school is such a loving and welcoming school to all students. While walking around the halls and walking into classrooms, you can tell that these teachers love their students. They show so much interest to their children. I tutor 10 students and they are the most loving and caring children I have met. Some of my students are below their reading level and have troubles with comprehension. They all need a little extra help. I have about two students who mention not being able to get help from their parents because they’re busy or some only have one parent. My skills and talents that I bring are my ability to understand these children, I try to put myself in their shoes and see myself through them whenever I was there age. Whenever I was in elementary I remember getting tutored as well. I also bring patients, listening skills and the ability to act as their friend. I love being able to go to their classroom and see their face light up whenever they see me. One of my students was asking what would happen if he read all the levels and I told him he probably wouldn’t need help with tutoring anymore and his response was; “awe man, I like getting tutored.” Seeing my children sound out a word they don’t think they can is the most exciting thing. They usually read the word and glance to see if they actually did and by my face of excitement they know they did! I am so glad I had the opportunity to do this. I love my job.
    -AA

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    1. I totally agree with you. Nibley Park is such a wonderful place, especially for the kids. They have the best teachers and advisors such as Sherrie (most amazing & sweetest person). I also relate to you on being able to understand where our students are coming from, and being able to yourself in their shoes is a great way to becoming a great tutor! you sound like a superb tutor!

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    2. I find it fascinating your ability to try and understand the perspective of the students. I need to utilize this approach as I tutor with certain individuals. I have a student who lost his/her mother. he/she can be difficult to deal with at times. I need to understand their perspective and reality to help them accomplish their desired goals. Thanks - Austin

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  20. I have been earning my rewards at Nibley Park Elementary and YMCA. Nibley and YMCA are both great places that are determined to help their students succeed. I go to Nibley one day a week to tutor my four kids, and they are just the sweetest human beings. They just love the reading center and so enthusiastic to be with their tutors. I learn to observe their reading levels, and to use the different reading exercises to help the kids with their reading. Some kids may struggle more than some other kids I have, but they all they need that little push and encouragement to do better. All of them learn differently, so I am learning to observe and find that teaching method that would work most effectively. I spend most of my time at YMCA, and I love it there. I get to really connect with all of the kids there, and learn their personalities. The coordinators and staffs are super friendly, which I love. At YMCA, it’s a very different environment than Nibley Park, which is very interesting, because they do a variety activities at YMCA. They don’t really have a reading program there, so I help them with their homework or help the staff with the children. I also get to read with a couple kids during recess time, and I definitely get a different response from the kids at YMCA then at Nibley. I really take the time to understand the kids, observe their behaviors, and learn about them. I like to take what they like to do and try to incorporate it into their readings/homework. Also based on my experiences when I was a kid getting tutored, I remembered what it was like, and how it was like getting tutored. I remembered the struggle and the satisfaction and joy I felt when I learned a new word. Seeing the kids light up with satisfaction when they learn a new word, or their enthusiasm to learn to do something new is something I love to see.
    -SY

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    1. I agree with you. I find that students learn in different ways. It's important to find what method works best for each individual. I also find joy when students learn a new word. Sometimes they get excited or pretend they know the word. Either way, it's an awesome experience.

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  21. I'm glad to be apart of such an amazing program. America Reads has opened my eyes and brought me a new perspective on the importance of education. I find volunteering at Nibley Park to be intriguing. I'm taking classes that help me understand the cognitive abilities of the students that I tutor. Moreover, I find that I bring patience, understanding, and empathy with me as I tutor. I'm happy to have people that I consider friends helping me be a better tutor. Everyone I know at the program is so helpful and warming. Other tutors with more experience illuminate the importance and skills to utilize to have a successful volunteer session.

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  22. I got a late start with America Reads. I didn't begin tutoring until October. I eventually settled on a schedule that had me working at three different locations. I worked at Redwood Elementary as a part of the YMCA after school program as well as at the YMCA Taylorsville location and at Whittier Elementary. I hope that with such short visits at each location I can still have a positive effect on these children. As a male role model I think I can bring a perspective that will resonate with some students. I have been an avid reader since my early elementary school days, which were coincidentally spent at Redwood Elementary. If my grades at college are any indication, I have good reading and writing skills that I think will show up in the way I tutor.

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  23. I got a late start with America Reads. I didn't begin tutoring until October. I eventually settled on a schedule that had me working at three different locations. I worked at Redwood Elementary as a part of the YMCA after school program as well as at the YMCA Taylorsville location and at Whittier Elementary. I hope that with such short visits at each location I can still have a positive effect on these children. As a male role model I think I can bring a perspective that will resonate with some students. I have been an avid reader since my early elementary school days, which were coincidentally spent at Redwood Elementary. If my grades at college are any indication, I have good reading and writing skills that I think will show up in the way I tutor.

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