October 27, 2017
Written by Lynn Gabriel, Tutor Coordinator
When we hear the term “summer slide” most of us think of the tendency for children to lose academic gains when they are out of school during the summer. However, “summer slide” can also happen with adults students, too!
This summer, 248 students, along with 25 volunteer teachers, came together for 7 weeks to ensure that the learning achievements of the past school year were not lost.
English Conversation classes included both Intensive Study and Tutored students working together in the same classrooms, engaged in guided conversation about Family/Home, Healthy Living, Money/Budgets, Jobs/Careers, Community, and Traditions/Celebrations. These students practiced real-life dialogues to help them in their daily life, laughed together and enjoyed the fine art of conversation!
In other classrooms, students were learning the basics of Reading and Writing. Writing Skills included formulating sentences, turning them into paragraphs, and creating short essays. Reading for meaning, finding the main idea, and interpretation were all part of the Reading curriculum.
Math classes were offered in three different levels and attracted a large number of students. Skills covered included practical math skills ranging from basic place value and addition/subtraction, all the way through fractions, percentages, algebra, and geometry. In each class, the women were given the opportunity to learn and practice important practical math which they can use in their family and community lives.
Health Careers Prep was another class that drew a large group of students this summer. A staff member, with the assistance of professional volunteers, gave women the opportunity to learn about different careers in the health field. The curriculum included vocabulary, group work, practice dialogue between patients and health career professionals, anatomy and physiology, assertiveness training and practice in basic skills such as taking blood pressure. Upon completing this class, many of the students will be prepared with skills needed to gain entrance into certificate programs outside of MLC.
What was most amazing during this seven-week program was seeing how well both Intensive Study and Tutored students worked together, and to see both students and tutors thriving in this type of setting. Several volunteers told us that they were so inspired by how hard the students were working; it made them want to work harder to be the best teachers they could. Volunteers even came in on “off” days to gather materials and prepare for their next class! So, not only did the students benefit from these summer classes, but the volunteers did as well. All in all, a very successful summer!