Offering a daily tutoring program at the Mountain House Branch Library, several students took advantage of the additional educational opportunity to prepare for the coming school year. Each weekday afternoon, a section of the library became home to the Youth Advisory Committee’s tutoring program. Often working one-on-one with fellow students, high schoolers spent an hour a day mentoring children in a variety of subjects.
“I get to learn more for the fourth grade,” said 8-year-old Anna Saide, who was spending the afternoon of Aug. 12 learning more about her favorite subject, horses, from tutor Durva Kapadne. “I’m excited about school. I can’t wait.”
“I think it’s a great program for the little kids to get prepared for school,” Kapadne said. “I wanted to tutor my sister, and I heard about YAC — I wanted to join.”
The tutoring program, open to students in grades two through eight, started in early May. There is also a separate high school tutoring class for SAT preparation at 2 p.m. Saturdays.
YAC president Aloukika Shah, a Kimball High School junior, said it’s rewarding to see the students react to their tutelage.
“They come in with smiles on their faces, thrilled to learn,” said Shah, one of four tutors. “One of the most valuable things is the emotional feedback we get back from the tutorees.”
The idea behind tutoring younger children came out of a YAC brainstorming session, in which members kicked around ideas to bridge the generation gap and promote academic development. Shah said the committee had just completed its first haunted house in late October 2010, and the success proved to her that Mountain House youth “are capable of doing anything.”
Teaming up an average of seven students with seven tutors, the summer program proved to be quite successful, Shah said.
On Friday, Aug. 12, a group of six students attended the tutoring session at the library, hosted by Shah and 14-year-old tutors Kshitij Shah, Durva Kapadne and Hafsa Mir.
“I really like teaching little kids,” Mir said, while helping Raahim Saide, 6, with his reading comprehension skills.
Excited about going into the first grade, Saide said he likes everything he is learning.
At the next table, Aloukika Shah was going over a book on fourth-grade language arts with 9-year-olds Urwah Mir and Akshata Kapadne. Over the course of the summer, Shah said Kapadne finished working on the math text she will use this year in her fourth-grade class.
“I like multiplying,” Akshata Kapadne said. “It’s not hard.
Also focusing on mathematics that day was 9-year-old Anikait Dhawas, under the tutelage of Kshitij Shah. Shah said he enjoys watching a student go from confusion to understanding.
Dhawas’ mother, Vaishali, said she was grateful for the program and thought every library should offer tutoring.
“It’s a very good head start for the fourth grade,” she said. “They study something new, one-on-one, and he can ask questions if he is stuck on something.”
YAC chairwoman and member of the Mountain House Community Services District Bernice King-Tingle said she loves the spirit of the committee’s members.
“They make things happen,” she said. “They think things out and work together as a team. There are no bad ideas. They building trust, accountability, leading by example, and they really take pride in what they are doing.”
Since school started at Kimball High on Monday, all tutors had to cut back their tutoring to Tuesdays only, from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., in the local library.
Anyone looking to learn more about YAC or the after-school tutoring program can call 831-2300.