StreetSquash isn’t just an after school program that gives students a place to go in the afternoons. The organization is fully invested in the success of its students. If anyone is struggling in a particular subject, StreetSquash provides individualized tutoring, among other assets, to allow students to get up to par.
The StreetSquash tutoring program is an initiative within the organization to assist children with closing learning gaps resulting from not fully understanding concepts in specific subjects.
The tutoring program is composed of StreetSquash volunteers who consider themselves to be experts in specific subject matters. Volunteers can be high school students who are in need of community service hours, or adult professionals who want to give back to their community.
Tutoring service is available to all StreetSquash students and their siblings. Tutoring at StreetSquash can be requested by a caregiver, teacher, or academic staff member if a student is facing academic challenges.
Currently there’s 21 students receiving help from 20 different tutors.
Among the StreetSquash students seeing a significant positive impact from tutoring is Osiris. He’ll be entering the 10th grade in the fall of 2022.
Osiris had difficulty in math when he started StreetSquash and has been receiving tutoring since the sixth grade.
“Before tutoring, I used to fail a lot of math classes,” Osiris said. “After doing tutoring from 7th grade to now, I’ve been passing with 85s or above. Currently in geometry, I have a 96.”
Osiris credits the repetitions he gets at StreetSquash for his significant improvement.
“Getting a refreshment in something, helps me in school and to boost my grade,” Osiris said. “Taking math in school and in StreetSquash has been excellent.”
Now Osiris says he carries himself differently.
“Doing well in math both with tutoring and in school, just makes me feel confident that I’m really good at this subject,” Osiris said. “I used to think math was the worst subject because I used to really struggle with it. But having tutoring makes me realize that seeking help can be very helpful.”
Osiris’ mother, Silvia, says her son originally wasn’t one to ask for help.
“Osiris used to have trouble admitting he needed helped in all his school courses,” Silvia said. “After I enrolled him in tutoring, I started noticing that he was more aware, engaged and concerned about his performance in school. Additionally, his grades went up a lot and he has managed to keep them high. Thus, I feel that the tutors’ commitment as well as the program’s incentives for the students to obtain good grades has helped my kid to stay focus in school as well as in squash.”
Amazingly, Osiris improvement is thanks to just one hour of tutoring per week.
Osiris works with volunteer and tutor Justin Hunt, who also notices changes in the students he works with.
“’I’ve seen my students develop confidence in themselves in approach, while tackling difficult problems during our tutoring sessions,” Hunt said.
“He’s a great tutor,” Osiris said of Hunt. “He’s always on time.”
Osiris went on to praise the commitment of Hunt.
“Even though [tutors] not getting paid, they’re doing this out of the goodness of their heart to help others,” Osiris said. He’s usually here before me and I’m the one who’s supposed to be here before him because I’m the one who’s getting the help.”
Meanwhile, Hunt says StreetSquash provides the means necessary to ensure success in tutoring.
“My experience volunteering at StreetSquash has been great,” Hunt said. “The students and staff create a great environment for growth.”
Stefany Navarro, StreetSquash’s Program Director isn’t surprised to see Osiris significantly improve.
“Tutoring has been a vital component of the academic success of StreetSquash participants,” Navarro said. “The pandemic has widened the learning gap of many participants and has heightened the many flaws of the education system in our country. All StreetSquash students who participate in the tutoring program have shown substantial academic progress. The Tutor and Tutee relationship goes beyond academics. Many of our pairs develop friendships and mentorships throughout their time with one another. It is so much more than academic assistance, but a network of support for each student.”
And Osiris’ mother can’t say enough good things about the tutoring program.
“I’m a very thankful and happy parent for having my child enrolled in the StreetSquash program,” she said. “My son has grown so much as a student, player and teenager within it. However, the most notorious improvement was seen once he started receiving his tutoring sessions. I’m very thankful with Justin, his tutor. Osiris has already been with him for almost two years now and they have built a great student – tutor relationship. I know part of it is due to Justin’ commitment as he goes the extra mile to support my child in all aspects.”