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Juniata Expands is Local Elementary Tutoring Program

(Posted October 18, 2004)

HUNTINGDON, PA. -- More than 50 Juniata College students are taking part in an elementary school tutoring program in four Huntingdon Area School District schools, increasing the number of Juniata student tutors by about 25 percent.

The Huntingdon Young Achievers Tutoring Program, now in its third year, sends Juniata students to four area elementary schools: Standing Stone Elementary School, Jackson Miller Elementary School, Brady-Henderson Elementary School and South Side Elementary School.

"The students are from all areas of study at Juniata," explains Megan Launtz, Americorps-VISTA coordinator in Juniata's Office of Community Service. "We have students studying sciences, communication, business, information technology and education."

The elementary students are tutored in math, science, social studies and reading.

Before the Juniata students are assigned to tutoring duties at the local schools, all must attend tutoring training with a presentation by Paula Beckenbaugh, director of clinical experiences in the college's education department.

The program is funded through the America Reads, America Counts program, which is part of the No Child Left Behind federal education initiative.

The program started in 2002 and has drawn more participation from Juniata students each year. "We expanded our services to meet the demand for more tutors," Launtz explains. The Juniata tutors visit each school twice a week. Tutors working at Standing Stone and Jackson Miller elementary schools tutor every Monday and Wednesday. The tutors visit Brady-Henderson and South Side elementary schools on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

According to Launtz, each school matches up an elementary student with a tutor and the same tutor works with the same elementary student during every visit. Although expanding the program is still in the planning stage, Launtz says the tutoring project may branch out to the Juniata Valley School District. At Juniata Valley, the tutors may work in the district's elementary school and high school.

Juniata's tutoring students are paid through a work-study program. "We stress to the students that this is a job that should be taken seriously," Launtz says. "All the students seem to really enjoy themselves."

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.