Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Empowering Tutoring: An Amazing Project

Edison State students comment on their volunteer tutoring experience

An Edison State Communications student works with
a Greenville Elementary student this fall. Social Distancing
and other health guidelines are maintained for the safety of all
volunteers, supervisors and students.

DARKE COUNTY - “The After School Program is an amazing group of people who come together to help kids who are behind in their academics.” This was the opinion of one of several Edison State students who participated in the After School Program at Greenville Elementary School. 

Another student said it meant a lot to her to see the progress the kids she worked with each week. “Seeing them remember words we spent extra time on,” she noted, “and seeing them fix their mistakes, hearing them talk about what they learned in class and using it to help them figure things out was amazing to watch.”

Seventeen Edison State Fundamentals of Communication students worked 195 hours with 18 first, second and third grade students at Greenville Elementary School. Participation in the program was not required. It was offered as an alternative to the traditional research project and final exam, and based upon the concept that actual experience in communication learning goals presented a “real world” opportunity that research and textbooks couldn’t match. 

In the college class, students learn that good communication skills require the ability to understand and interact with different personalities from different backgrounds, and with different educational needs. Volunteer tutors, under qualified tutor supervision, quickly learned that not all students learn the same way. Some need help with reading, others with math, some even with both. Approaches often required coming up with different ways to engage them. Regardless of the need, volunteers work to reinforce the efforts of the student’s teachers and support staff.

The communications students liked the idea that they could participate in helping a younger child learn.

“I think that this is a great idea to have young people come and teach students and help them get their homework done,” said one college tutor. “I was in a similar after school program in elementary school, and I think that it would have been more fun and interesting if local college kids were able to come help us,” she added.

While noting the value to their own growth, the students choosing the tutoring program also understood the value to families and the community.

“This program helps a lot of kids out that may be struggling in the classroom or just need some extra help that mom and dad cannot give them,” said one student. “I believe it is a high quality program with good intentions for the students at Greenville Elementary School. It has value to students and parents, also the community, because it shows that the school, and young adults, care about these children and want to see them succeed.

“There are many positive things that this program does,” he continued. “It helps struggling young students and gives college students the opportunity to learn how to deal with certain situations and real world educational needs.”

“I thought that it was great for personal character building, and that I could make a difference in a struggling child's life,” said another student.

“Going into this experience I was optimistic,” said the volunteer, who is a recent high school graduate. “I wasn’t sure what it was going to be like, but I knew I wanted to make a difference. In my opinion, Empowering Darke County Youth is a great program.”

Empowering Darke County Youth currently has After School Programs in three Darke County School Districts. The Edison State students volunteer, under supervision, at Greenville Elementary School. Efforts are underway to include Greenville Middle School students after the Christmas break. Ansonia uses its high school students, under staff supervision, to help students in grades 1 through 6. Arcanum-Butler uses a classroom format conducted by two staff members and a high school volunteer, to help students in grades 5 through 8.

If you would like to know more about Empowering programs, or how you can help, email You can also find Empowering on Facebook, at its website,, or by mail: P.O. Box 1113, Greenville, OH 45331.

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