I decided to focus on tutoring these grades after watching a fellow Back2Back staff member - Betty - volunteer and sacrifice 10 to 15 hours each week last semester by herself trying to teach these kids how to read, add, subtract and get their homework done daily. Betty is honestly my hero. She cares about the well being of each child at Douglas in a way that is inspiring. She daily puts her own needs aside to desperately try to improve every aspect of these children's lives. Betty fully embodies what I think it means to be a social worker. She stands in the gap everyday and in every way for these kids. Betty can often be found literally pounding on people's desks in demand of improvement for the 70 kids of Casa Hogar Douglas. Betty is simply just awesome. And I really just want to help her in her efforts to give all the 1st and 2nd graders a solid educational foundation.
3 of the 7 students can read. The other 4... are all on rather different levels with regards to reading and math skills. Some can't identify numbers or any letters, can't read at all, can't add, etc. Others are on the verge of reading short words and it's evident how hard Betty has slaved last semester to get them to that point.
Another fellow Back2Back staff member - Ruby - teaches the Back2Back staff kids full time has given me lots of fun educational games to play with the kids to teach them letters, numbers, sounds and to practice reading. After 2 weeks, none of the kids have figured out that playing these games with me is like doing extra homework. They think of it as a reward or a prize. If that is not success, I don't know what is.
My goal: I want all 1st and 2nd graders at Douglas to be able to read short words by June and I can sort see some light at the end of the tunnel.