The following was prepared by an After School staff member.

Recently, I spent some time working with Abdi. We worked on an essay for his Literacy class. In it, he was asked to address the following prompt: What does it mean to be an American?

Abdi’s challenges with the assignment included a general lack of interest and motivation in doing the work, his ability to include excerpts from text he didn’t fully read or remember and some unclear instructions.

We worked on the assignment for about two days. The strategy I used to help make the assignment more engaging was asking Abdi to share his own personal experience around immigrating to America. We also discussed the textual evidence at length to ensure he understood its meaning.

He was able to complete the assignment on time, which was wonderful to see considering he was ready to give up halfway through. He let me know about a week later that he had gotten a 95% on the assignment.

This small example of a tutoring success is precisely that, because it helped foster trust and familiarity between me and Abdi. Now, I check on him regularly to see if he has homework needs. My hope is he also feels comfortable enough to seek me out and ask for tutoring.

From Hope, To Change

-Kent Youth and Family Services

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