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Tutors sought to fill void in Ripon schools
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Two Park View Elementary School second graders talk to police Lt. Ed Ormonde – a potential tutor – prior to the kick-off of the Give Every Child a Chance tutoring program that is being introduced at Colony Oak and Park View Schools next month. - photo by GLENN KAHL/ The Bulletin

RIPON - Community support in the 3-Rs is now a must in keeping some Ripon students successful in their formative school years. 

Elementary school tutors are needed in two of Ripon’s grade schools – Colony Oak and Park View following the elimination of the Readers’ Workshop program.

“We need your help,” stressed Ripon Superintendent Louise Nan.  “As you probably know our school district and all California school districts are enduring the largest budget reductions in the history of public education in our state.”

Nan explained that the school district is teaming up with the Give Every Child a Chance that will manage the logistics of coordinating Ripon volunteers through its One-On-One after-school tutoring programs.   It is estimated some 15 to 20 tutors are needed for each school.

In addition to these two schools, One-On-One is offered to students at Heartland Community Church on Main Street and at the Ripon Library as well as at Ripona Elementary School.

The Ripon superintendent announced Monday that retired Colony Oak principal Mary Lou Kahl has volunteered to assist the district and Give Every Child a Chance in the recruiting efforts.

The tutoring commitment is set for a one-hour session with a student twice a week for each student they agree to help with their school work – focusing on all the core subjects.

Retired educators are being targeted to help in the program, but anyone with an enthusiasm to help children is encouraged to join in with the effort.

An informational meeting for prospective tutors is scheduled to be held Thursday, Aug. 27, 3:30 p.m. in the high school library.

Kahl said that the Readers’ Workshop at the elementary level has for years addressed the needs of students who are in need of extra help in reading.  She noted that the schools that generate Title 1 funds have been able to add a part-time intervention teacher, but other schools no longer share that luxury.

The program matches a student receiving one or more below-average grades with a volunteer mentor.  “The focus is to assist students with study skills and homework and to help improve failing or below average grades,” Kahl said.

There is no fee charged to parents or students to attend the program.  

Those interested in helping a child are urged to call Kahl at 599-2591.

There are a total of 32 One-On-One tutoring programs underway this year from Banta to Ripon and Escalon where schools and students were served by some 400 volunteers last year.

 Give Every Child a Chance was inaugurated by Manteca developer Antone Raymus in 1997 to catch those students who otherwise might fall through the cracks.

Jamie Anderson, supervising all the One-On-One programs, said it is not uncommon to see a student who is being tutored to then take on a younger boy or girl who needs help.

 As an example a fifth grader might choose to help a second or third grader following his or her own tutoring session.