Plainville Community Schools, 47 Robert Holcomb Way, Plainville CT 06062, (860)793-3200

Middle School Peer Tutor Program Is A "Win-Win" For All

A new peer tutoring program at the Middle School of Plainville proved to be a "win-win" for all participants this year according to Assistant Principal, Dr. Beth Strathy. Strathy designed the program as a support for middle school students. "We believe at the middle school that all students can achieve at high levels and sometimes they need help reaching those levels." The peer tutoring model includes study groups for tests, individual preparation for tests, homework completion, organization help, project completion, memorizing math facts, reading together, and helping students to stay focused on the task.

The program ran each school day during student enrichment periods, as well as Mondays and Wednesdays after school. The program began with a few students who needed help and grew as the school year progressed. By May, 64 peer tutors from grades six through eight, six high school student volunteers, and 45 student tutees were active participants in the tutoring model. Volunteer tutors were recruited by Strathy, while parents and teachers were able to request tutors for students who needed assistance. According to sixth grade science teacher, Julie Slowik, "The scores on our science end of the year exam were the highest they have ever been. The peer tutors are really working." Students also asked for the tutor support themselves. Said one sixth grade student regarding his peer tutors, "They really helped me. They don't do your work for you. They show you an example of a model and that helps me get it." Strathy also noted that individual reports from students indicate higher test scores and more homework completed.

Another positive outcome from the peer tutoring program was the benefit to the student tutors, who felt they were making a difference in the academic and social / emotional success of their fellow students. "It was heartening to watch an eighth grader patiently coach a seventh grader through his math, and then take turns reading an assigned novel," said Strathy. "Research shows that both the tutor and tutee learn better when they teach each other."

A year end celebration was held for all program participants, and student volunteers received certificates for their volunteer service. The Middle School’s Peer Tutoring Program will resume with the start of the 2009-10 school year, and will include a training program for all tutors.

-Posted on June 19, 2009 at 11:29 AM

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