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UW-Eau Claire Receives Marshall Fields Grant
For Tutor/Mentor Program
MAILED: Sept. 5, 2002
EAU CLAIRE — The Marshall Fields Community Giving Program, formerly known as the Dayton’s Community Giving Program, has donated $3,000 to the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire’s Human Development Center.
The grant, given to the university for the past seven years, will be used to pay tutor/mentors serving two elementary schools in Eau Claire. The HDC matches the grant to fund two graduate assistantship positions to coordinate the center’s tutor/mentor program throughout the academic year.
Graduate assistants are Terri Olsen, Bessemer, Mich., from the school psychology program and Taryn Jones, Prairie du Chien, from the department of communication disorders. Besides coordinating the program, Olsen and Jones will each serve as a tutor/mentor for a child.
According to Olsen, the program will have 14 upper-level undergraduate and graduate student participants. Tutor/mentors will serve about 20-25 students from the first through fifth grades at Lincoln Elementary School and Lakeshore Elementary School.
Throughout the school year tutor/mentors go to the elementary schools twice a week for an hour. Students who are identified as needing some extra help in academics are tutored one-on-one or in some instances paired up by teachers according to ability and grade-level.
“In the past few years we have been trying to incorporate social skills lessons with academics, and we hope to develop and improve this aspect of the program this year,” Olsen said. “The program benefits the university students by offering experience in working closely with one or two elementary students who are in need of some extra help academically and often socially.”
Olsen said the tutor/mentors learn about building relationships and techniques for helping students who need extra assistance. Students have the opportunity to work with a positive role model and do homework in a positive environment.
“The teachers at the schools report that students who are involved in the program gain confidence in the classroom and are gaining academic skills they were behind on, such as reading and mathematics,” Olsen said. “The program has a great reputation in the schools that it serves, and we are going to keep our expectations high and develop the program to meet the needs of the children.”
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: February 4, 2003