October Newsletter: A Slice of APIE

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Quick Bites of APIE | Tips for Classroom Coaches
  • Take your time – Get to know your students and establish a good rapport on the first day of coaching, setting the tone for the rest of the school year.
  • Make eye contact – Give students your full attention by making eye contact as a sign of respect and appreciation.
  • Call students by name – You can remember students names by writing them down on the first day of class and repeating them frequently during the lesson.
  • Be prepared – Arrive early and allow plenty of time to locate your class; also keep an eye out for important emails from coordinators throughout the year.
  • Be a good role model – Implement your training and always strive to be a positive example for your students by being kind and patient.

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APIE in the Classroom | Programs Launch

Our 8th Grade Math Classroom Coaching, Mentoring and College Readiness Programs are BACK in the schools for another year of knowledge-building and fun-filled learning. The students are looking forward to,”learning different ways to do math,” “fun activities” and “getting college ready.” math8-covington-classroom-view2-11-2012-copy

Classroom Coaching for 8th grade math is in full swing!  Many schools started with get-to-know you activities like “Would You Rather” or the “Spaghetti Tower Challenge.”  Building rapport with students and forming a relationship cannot be overstated.  Volunteers are encouraged to get to know their students and continue doing so throughout the year.  Teachers and students alike have been excited to see their APIE volunteers walk through the classroom doors.  This year, more than 300 volunteers will build relationships with and help students increase their confidence with math in 32 classrooms at 5 Austin ISD middle schools.

mentor-picAPIE’s Mentoring Program is off to a great start this year!  Over 700 volunteers have signed up to mentor in schools across the district many of them returning from past years of service.

When we ask our mentors, “Why do you want to be a mentor?” the most common response is ‘to make a difference in the life of a child’ or ‘because I had a mentor when I was younger and they helped me so much.’ However, our returning mentors will tell us how much the child has made a difference in their lives. Some may have discovered a new song to hum or a new game to play, but they have all discovered how much joy these young people have brought into their lives.

We appreciate all of the returning Classroom Coaches, Mentors and new faces who have said “Yes!” to volunteering with APIE this year. We encourage others to join our team.  All it takes is one adult to show support, encouragement, or compassion to affect a positive change in how a child views him or herself, school, and the world.  That adult could be you!

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APIE’s College Readiness Program increases the number of Austin ISD students who graduate “college ready” according to Texas Success Initiative (TSI) standards, allowing them to avoid costly remedial courses in college. In an effort to increase students’ chances of obtaining a degree and launching a successful career, APIE’s College Readiness Advocates lead small classes of 7 to 10 students, offering personalized support in reading, writing, and math. The College Readiness Advocates act in an advisory role, guiding students through college, scholarship, and financial aid applications. With the Advocates’ encouragement and support, students graduate high school feeling more confident and well-prepared for college and beyond.

Volunteer Spotlight | Joan Quenan
jone2Joan Quenan has been volunteering at Webb Middle School for a little over two years. As a Math Classroom Coach she dedicates her time to tutoring a group of 2-3 eighth graders in pre-algebra. She also mentors and tutors high school students whenever there is an opportunity.

Joan is a retired math and computer science teacher. She mostly taught high school students, but also ventured into computer science at a middle school level. Joan has always enjoyed being with kids and now that she’s retired, she really wants to continue working with them. With her extra time, she wants to use her knowledge as a former math teacher to give back to the community. Plus, it’s one of the most enjoyable parts of her week!

How did you find out about APIE?

You know, I can’t remember exactly. I think I was just asking about volunteering opportunities in schools. I believe I went to a school and they gave me the APIE website, so I looked online and found the application and got involved that way. Everything is online and I could see all the different opportunities for me to get involved and here I am. I’ve been at Webb Middle School the whole time.  I really love coming here each week. It’s a great school. 

What’s the reason you continue to volunteer with APIE year after year?

I really love the kids. They are just always enthusiastic and find a way to lift my spirits. They are a pleasure to be with. 

As a volunteer and mentor what impact do you hope to have on your students?

I want them to enjoy math because I do, and I know they can too. Often students shy away from math, but playing math related games is a way to show them math can be fun. There are puzzles, slope battleship; and with the small groups, it’s a great way to really get to know your students.

As a mentor, can you tell us a little bit about your experience?

My student is a junior and she is interested in going to college. Her family has not been to college before so it will be more of a matter of helping her with upcoming applications. Right now it’s more of listening to her frustrations and supporting her through day to day things. She works hard and is very dedicated to coming to school and she is thinking about what she wants to do in life.

Donor Spotlight | 3Mgives

As a longtime supporter for over 10 years, 3Mgives has improved lives and built sustainable communities by donating time and energy to APIE’s educational programs. 3Mgives has generously supported APIE’s Math Classroom Coaching program at Burnet Middle School providing 8 classes for 146 students – a total of 176 hours of math instruction!
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Over the years, 3Mgives works relentlessly to promote stronger and more sustainable communities through financial investments, product donations and contributing their most valuable resource – their volunteers- to the community. Their impact on communities reaches internationally, empowering youths from a spectrum of backgrounds. APIE is happy to have 3Mgives volunteers working alongside us in our Austin classrooms! Like APIE, 3Mgives seeks to empower a new generation of leaders, thinkers, and creators regardless of student backgrounds, gender, or race. Their commitment to promoting equity by driving access to quality education for all communities is why APIE is so happy to be supported by a wonderfully philanthropic team! With 3Mgives’ support, APIE will continue to work tenaciously to train and deploy hundreds of community volunteers into the classrooms to motivate and aid students in their paths to success.

Happy Hour Recap

APIE volunteers, donors and staff had a great time mingling and sharing their exciting APIE experiences at Contigo!  We hope to see YOU at our next get together.

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APIE after School

Entering its fifth year, #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Last year over 300,000 donors participated! Join the movement and give the gift of education on November 29th.  Please donate HERE to support APIE this Giving Tuesday.

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APIE is excited to be a charity team of the Austin Marathon and Austin GivesMiles. We hope you’ll run (or jog, or walk) for APIE or donate to someone who’s running for us. Help us reach our goal of $5,000 to provide academic support to Austin ISD students in need. Join our team or support our runners by clicking below!

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About Austin Partners in Education

Austin Partners in Education is a non-profit organization that provides innovative programs to improve student academic performance.

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