Tutoring teaches more than studying ANNE ARUNDEL EDUCATION

December 14, 1992|By Monica Norton | Monica Norton,Staff Writer

It's that season again. Not the Christmas season. Tutoring season at MacArthur Middle School.

For seven years, MacArthur counselor Carol Borum has been conducting the Afterschool Tutoring and Homework Assistance Program for the school's seventh- and eighth-graders. When grades come out for the first term, and students find out they didn't do as well as expected, they need a place to turn. The Afterschool program gives them someone to talk to, and someone to help.

"We teach more than just studying," Ms. Borum said. "We teach self-respect. We teach them how to help each other."

This year's program began in October, and runs until the end of the school year. Between 20 and 30 students come out to the twice-a-week, 55-minute tutoring sessions. Supplies are provided for students who need them. The program is strictly voluntary, Ms. Borum said. But students having difficulty in class are encouraged to join.

The program is strictly voluntary for the tutors, too. Military personnel from Fort Meade, retired community members, parents, and members of the Fort Meade chapter of Omega Psi Phi fraternity donate their time.

The students receive more than just tutoring, Ms. Borum stressed; they receive encouragement. Those who receive good grades where they had been having difficulty have their work placed on the Stay on Track bulletin board.

If students bring a paper with a passing grade, they are given a gift certificate from the Odenton McDonald's, one of the program's sponsors.

fTC Afterschool is just one of the many outreach programs Ms. Borum has organized. Students also participate in year-round events that expose them to various careers and opportunities.

Money, of course, can be a problem. Ms. Borum had hoped to take students to see the Boys Choir of Harlem perform at the Meyerhoff Symphony later this month, but a lack of funds may make it difficult for the students to attend.

Ms. Borum said she also is seeking money for a computer to use in the tutoring sessions.

"Sometimes our children may not have someone at home, or the supplies needed to do their work," Ms. Borum said. "I have seen a number of our children who really could benefit from the use of a computer."

Even without a computer, students said they benefit from coming to the tutoring sessions.

Twelve-year-old Donta Sewell said he comes to the tutoring sessions to "get better grades." Rusty Mullan, 12, said the sessions provide the opportunity to finish his homework and see some of his friends.

Thirteen-year-old Nalani Ramza said she came to pull up the C-grade she received in her pre-Algebra course.

"I'd never seen this stuff before," she said. "It's pretty hard, but it helps to come here and get some extra help."

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