In its third year, an IU tutoring and mentoring program continues to grow.
Halfway through the 2018-2019 school year, the IUPUI Office of Community Engagement in partnership with six other IU campuses served students from more than forty Indiana counties through the Indiana Kids program, supported by a grant from Serve Indiana.
Enrollment of sixth to twelfth grade students was nearing 2,400 total, with more than half of those enrolled actively utilizing the services.
A parent shared her sixth-grader’s experience, saying, My daughter “utilized the IU Indiana Kids help for the first time and the tutor did an AMAZING JOB! From the moment we began the application to finish, it was wonderful!”
The strength of the program is in the ability to offer an online service, both through internet and telephone for students that do not have internet access, no matter where the student lives. Statewide, online tutoring provided by IUPUI students has seen an increase in the third year and continues to grow, which is a goal of the program.
IU campuses provide in-person tutoring, mentoring and workshop opportunities to students in their areas.
Expanding strong community partnerships across the state is another goal of the program. Recently, new partnerships have been formed with public school districts and charter middle and high schools, community centers, libraries, Boys & Girls Clubs of Indiana, Girls Inc. and sports programs. IU campuses are also deepening their relationship with state programs, such as 21st Century Scholars, in order to expand their reach.
These partnerships have added various after school and summer programming, new workshop topics, more in-person mentoring and tutoring opportunities.
Program leaders hope to reach athletes and athletic programs to emphasize the importance of academics, in addition to athletic ability. Athletes are participating in the program as students as well as serving as tutors and mentors.
Workshops offered at campuses around the state have also seen more students attending, thanks to word of mouth from past events, program leaders said. Topics covered at the workshops include essay writing, social media awareness, ISTEP tutoring and summer arts and math programming.
The program is also committed to meeting the needs of English Language Learners (ELL) by having bi-lingual tutors and mentors and plans to imbed them into some classrooms around the state.
IU tutors and mentors, and their individual talents and skills, provide all services for the program. Tutors and mentors are provided professional development workshops around such topics as crisis intervention, meeting special needs, cultural competency, implicit bias and building relationships with students.
Looking forward, the hope is for the program to continue to increase activity amongst enrolled students statewide, and grow the number of counties served across the state.
Assessment of the program is underway to determine what is going well and what enhancements can be made to make the program better. Enrolled students as well as caregivers are encouraged to participate in the process.