ST. PARIS – Three students from the Leadership and Community Engagement Class at Graham High School developed a tutoring program as their service learning project for FCCLA.
“What began as a small project at the high school during study halls has now become a passion to help students succeed at other levels where peers teach each other as a normal practice,” said their teacher, Donna Jarzab.
Third grade students at Graham Elementary are meeting weekly with these student mentors from Graham High School to brush up on their reading skills.
“For the past month, these caring and innovative high school leaders have been making a difference in our district with a program they created and they direct,” said Graham Superintendent Kirk Koennecke.
About nine tutors are involved in the elementary program with student Thomas Frost as the lead developer from the high school. Two days per week the high school students spend an hour or more after school tutoring young students at the elementary cafeteria where snacks and a comfortable environment are created to allow the students time to work on their skills.
“It’s important to create an environment where each student feels they can succeed, which is the goal of peer teaching,” Jarzab said.
The high school students also spend time in their own building where 10-15 students are involved in a similar program headed by students Kaitlyn Spriggs and Lacey Smith. These students spend time in class reflecting on the value of educating young people and modeling good teaching. With the help of Jarzab, the students are modeling service learning through a relevant project that impacts their district in the most positive way.