Why Our Neighborhood Tutoring Program Works
As we gear up for another exciting school year running our Neighborhood Tutoring Program, the atmosphere at FLOC is filled with anticipation and renewed commitment to our mission. Since our founding in 1965, FLOC has served over 10,000 youth in Washington, DC. One thing that has remained true throughout our decades of service is that our programs work and they work well. In this blog post, we share five reasons why our Neighborhood Tutoring Program works, demonstrating how FLOC continues to provide educational support and services beyond the classroom to help students succeed from second grade through college and career.
- Our tutoring program is 100% free, always. We believe that education is a right, not a privilege. Guided by our vision, we aim to reach every child, regardless of their zip code, skin color, or family status. Our students get to take advantage of our program for free! For far too many families, the high costs associated with tutoring can become a significant barrier. We are changing that. By offering free, high quality, tutoring we are able to reach students who would otherwise not be able to receive the extra support that they need.
2. We’ve got an amazing team of trained and dedicated volunteers. We serve over 250 students annually with the support of our volunteers. Our programs staff ensure that all volunteers feel prepared and fully supported through extensive training and ongoing guidance. Coming from various backgrounds, education levels, and careers, our volunteers make a conscious decision to give time to our students and organization each week as a reading or math tutor. These volunteers aren’t just tutors; they’re mentors, role models, and friends to the students they work with. They are the driving force of our organization, and through their selfless contribution, our volunteers help write the stories of success for the students we serve.
3. The curriculum we’ve adopted is Common Core aligned and backed by solid data. We believe that utilizing a strong and engaging curriculum provides students with the educational support they need to thrive academically. That’s why we’ve chosen to implement two well-known, Common Core aligned, educational programs into our Neighborhood Tutoring Program: Wilson Reading System and Singapore Math. Wilson Reading System is an evidence-based program designed to help students with reading difficulties develop strong reading and decoding skills. Singapore Math helps students develop problem-solving and critical thinking skills that prepares students to visualize and grasp challenging mathematical principles. This curriculum is supported by our library of diverse children and young adult books and online supplemental materials.
4. Our program is consistent – offering 1-on-1, two hour tutoring sessions per subject each week. Through intervention tutoring, we work with each student one-on-one to bring them to grade level proficiency in reading or math. FLOC is one of only a handful of DC educational nonprofits that still offers a one-on-one tutoring model. With this approach, our students are provided the individualized support they need to find success and confidence both in and outside of the classroom. Through our interventions, we help students develop the skills and capabilities they need so that they can significantly improve their math and reading proficiencies in less than a year. We have observed that students who participate on a weekly basis with minimum absences experience concept mastery that equates to 1 year or more of grade level equivalency.
5. We have donors and supporters who genuinely care about our students’ success. At the root of any successful nonprofit is a group of supporters who believe in the mission. Our donors and supporters are the unsung heroes of our organization. They invest not just in dollars, but in dreams and valuable connections. Their contributions fund our programs, enable us to provide free tutoring, and expand our reach to serve even more students. Their belief in our mission empowers us to continue to adapt and evolve in response to the changing educational landscape.
The success of our programs stems from our commitment to accessibility, dedication of passionate volunteers, engaging curriculum, consistency of our program, and support from our caring community. It is a combination of all these things that makes our programs not just work but also forges a pathway of hope and opportunity for every student we serve.