While Oklahoma City has come of age in the past decade, many children still live in pockets of poverty, crime and low literacy. With 1 in 3 children living in poverty and 73% of fourth graders reading below grade level, we see that something must be done.
The ability to read has been shown to be one of the key indicators of future success. Whiz Kids focuses on reading due to our state’s alarming illiteracy rates. In Oklahoma, 74% of fourth graders read below grade level. Most of the tutoring hour is spent reading to/with the child or listening to the child read. To make the best use of time and maintain focus, we ask that children only bring homework they have questions about.
We build close relationships with local elementary schools and districts throughout our communities. Our partner schools refer students who need help reading on their grade level. Teacher liasons are present on-site to assist during tutoring time. Teacher liasons realize that not all tutors are equipped to work with students with learning or beheavioral disabilities. Through educational consultation and guidance, teacher liasons can help tutors gain a better understanding of how to match individual learning styles. Whiz Kids provides two different permission slips that the school gives to parents: one for the tutorial component, the other for Club Time.
Most Whiz Kids tutoring sessions are held in urban churches. These churches are often cornerstones of the community, familiar to children and parents alike. Ideally, the urban church takes ownership by providing space for the tutoring program and directing Club Time.Before long, Whiz Kids becomes a platform for reaching even more families in the neighborhood. Many of our tutors are recruited from Whiz Kids’s suburban partner churches, helping to build bridges between the suburbs and the inner-city. Many of these partnerships later blossom into warm working relationships that transcend tutoring.
It’s hard to learn on an empty stomach. Many of the children we serve come from families where food is a desperately needed resource. Our sites provide nutritious, filling meals and some even choose to send food packets home.
Club Time is moral and character-based guidance in a simple, visual and developmentally appropriate way. We’ve partnered with Novo Ministries to provide curriculum designed specifically for urban youth. During Club Time, coordinators and teachers meet with half the tutors for training and planning. The following week, coordinators and teachers meet with the other half.
Children are matched with their own tutor, who works one-on-one with them for at least one school year. As the student and tutor work together, they form a caring relationship. Over time, the tutor learns of the child’s specific academic, physical and spiritual needs, allowing for more focused and individualized academic time.
While you’re one-on-one with your student, we have a great support system to back you up. We enlist the support of people from within the communities in which the children live to provide support and additional understanding.
Our coordinators set up and manage the sessions, keep track of paperwork, communicate with the teachers and schools and record of attendance.
Teacher liasons are here to answer any questions you may have, serving as an educational consultant and a go-between for the student’s teacher.
Club Leaders teach the Novo Ministries curriculum during club time preceding tutoring time.
All it takes is a commitment of two hours each week. Submit your information and we’ll get in touch to walk you through the process.