History

As described in The Vancouver Sun, Dec 24, 2012:

“When children came into the office of Vancouver pediatrician Alisa Lipson, she was able to treat them for almost any malady. Sprains, infections, growing pains could all be dispatched with advice, kind words and the odd prescription. But there was something she couldn’t fix.

“I would see these kids coming in with learning issues, feeling discouraged. They could see me any time because of our health system, but for their problems, basic treatment wasn’t available.”

Lipson would suggest tutoring, but many families that needed the support most couldn’t afford $30 to $60 an hour for a skilled tutor who could help their children crack the reading code.  “Children can start to feel stupid by Grade 2, and once they feel like that it’s hard to achieve anything.”

She shared her concerns with her own daughters, Dena and Samantha. Dena, a university student, was already tutoring a child in Lipson’s practice; Samantha, a teenager, came up with the idea of doing more. She wanted to bring high school students into schools and help the kids whose families could not help them enough themselves.  Reading Buddies was born.

Dena’s friend Alison Lee, a UBC medical student, came on board as a co-founder, helping to establish what came to be the Learning Buddies Network, which brings young tutor/mentors into schools to help children in math and reading.”

LBN has expanded to 17 programs serving 9 schools currently, with 300 high school and university student mentor/tutors offering once-a-week sessions to elementary school children who need intervention.