REACH stands for Raising Education Attainment Challenge. The REACH Program at the Cornell Public Service Center is a student initiative consisting of Team Leaders, America Reads/Counts Challenge tutors (ARCC), and volunteer tutors committed to supporting community organizations and schools serving children’s academic and social needs.

The purpose of the program is to recruit and mobilize a diverse, talented group of tutors so that they may have the necessary resources, peer support, and leadership to assist in the enhancement of academic achievement of children and youth in grades pre-K-12th.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

How REACH inspires me - Rebecca Zuckerman (Boynton Middle School)

Hi, my name is Rebecca and I am a tutor at Boynton Middle School. I work with a program called the Advantage After School program whose main goal is to improve the grades of those that are struggling in school by providing additional homework help. After the homework hour, we have an hour of activities that include playing sports, making arts and crafts, cooking, etc. It is a truly incredible experience every time because we often work with different students depending who needs help. This enables the tutors to make connections with many of the students, who always look forward to seeing us again.

Both students and tutors alike always enjoy the activity portion of the program because it is a time when we can finally relax and just have a good time with one another without worrying about homework and studying. However, I find that the most rewarding part is when a student can actually check off all of the assignments that they had to do that day and know that they accomplishment something important. When I first started volunteering, many of the students saw homework as something they just have to get through and not as a tool that can help them learn. But after two years of working with the students and watching them grow, I can see a change in their attitudes towards learning and towards school in general.

Working with REACH has given me great inspiration for the future. I am able to see how these students, who have always struggled with their schoolwork and have not had any academic motivation, are not only starting to improve their grades but are also developing a greater appreciation for learning.

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