Learning Buddies Network operates reading and math tutoring programs in weekly sessions after school in elementary schools in the lower mainland. During the summer, we operate our programs three times weekly in community centres. Each tutoring session typically involves 8-12 pairs of mentors and children, where the children are tutored one-to-one. All participants are together in a group location, such as the school library or designated meeting room. Group activities are included in the tutoring program as well. The population served is elementary school-aged children who are falling behind in basic academics in reading and math. These children are selected by their resource or classroom teachers as suitable for our program. Many of our students come from families who are not able to augment the school program with parent or paid tutoring support. In order to fully support our students without placing an extra financial burden on them, our programs are free.
Many of our little buddies are already feeling discouragement as young as grade 2. We believe that the combination of mentoring with an interested and enthusiastic youth or young adult, an enjoyable, judgement free group atmosphere, tutoring materials that are state of the art, and daily practice results in improved academics. True self esteem follows from these solid accomplishments. Built into our programs are baseline and outcome achievement levels. We use these as well as outcome questionnaire surveys to assess effects. All feedback is reviewed and used to make further modifications and improvements.
Currently we run a total of 16 programs during the school year in 10 different schools and organizations. During the summer we run programs in Vancouver, Burnaby, and Surrey.
Last year, through the efforts of 300 volunteers, Learning Buddies Network provided 5,000 hours of free tutoring. We are very proud that we are able to attract dedicated and idealistic youth who find meaning in giving of themselves to help children in need.