Partners in Technology (PIT) programs are taking shape for a new year in Austin ISD. Dell TechKnow is anticipated to start after-school sessions the first week in October, with approximately 70% of schools having identified teachers and space for this year’s programs, and the others well on their way. An updated curriculum from Dell will provide students with the most current computer education and as always, all TechKnow graduates will receive a free computer and Internet account for their personal educational use.
The first ever St. John 5K + Kid’s Mile was held on Saturday, September 12. While the weather threatened to cancel the event, participants showed up before the sun rose with eager hearts. Everyone seemed appreciative of the much-needed rain and excited to be a part of this momentous occasion.
Many thanks to Michael Madison for putting on such a great event! We’d also like to welcome our new volunteers who signed up at the race. We can’t wait for you to connect with students at Webb Middle School through the Partners in Math program.
For some people, the idea of meeting with a student every week is an overwhelming commitment that they can’t imagine fulfilling. For others, mentoring is something to squeeze in if you have time every now and then. Each summer, after all of the visit hours have been submitted, I start to wonder if we’re asking too much, if it’s even possible to reach the standard we expect from our mentors – to support and encourage one student once a week for one hour for one school year.
But then I think of Lara Foronda and Robert Ontiverdes and I know it is possible. Lara is a full time employee at the Texas Water Development Board. Robert is a 2009 graduate of McCallum High School who is attending Texas State University this fall. They have been working together for eight years.
Lara: Every year since the 5th grade, pretty much. Once a week for an hour.
Robert: Once a week, every week. For the entire year. For eight years.
Robert puts a heavy emphasis on “every” and they both laugh.
Lara: Except for summers!
It seems like Mack Brown is popping up all over Austin these days – on CapMetro buses, on RunTex billboards, and PSA’s. And he keeps talking about being a Classroom Coach. So you may be thinking “I’ve volunteered before. Am I a Classroom Coach? Am I changing the game?”
In mid 2008, Executive Director Kathrin Brewer decided that Austin Partners in Education needed a way to brand our small group learning structure to differentiate it from traditional mentoring and tutoring, even though it incorporates both of these components when building a relationship with students. Small group learning takes place when 7-10 volunteers come into a classroom during the regular school day and help small groups (get it?) of 3-5 students in a key area of their education: 2nd grade reading, 8th grade math, and 12th grade college readiness. Read More…
..but rocket scientists are always welcome.
This year Austin Partners in Education will be focusing the Partners in Math program on 8th grade. Providing students with a strong foundation will enable success in algebra, which research consistently shows is critical to ensuring high school completion and college and career readiness. We are excited for this opportunity and have been able to make positive program enhancements for our new and returning volunteers.