Lifestyle

It takes a village to make tutoring program a success

We have built it, and the students have come.

EBT (Enumclaw + Black Diamond Tutoring Program) is the pilot program of Village Tutors, a 501(c)3 corporation based in Enumclaw. We are halfway through our second year of operation and are enjoying tremendous success in connecting with and assisting students in the Enumclaw School District. Since opening our doors in October 2008, we have worked with more than 300 students, delivering more than 3,500 hours of free tutoring in subjects ranging from beginning reading to advanced placement calculus. The startup costs of the program were given by Mutual of Enumclaw, Enumclaw Rotary Club, Helac and King County. Sustaining funding has come from various businesses, organizations and individuals within the Enumclaw area.

The concept of Village Tutors is to help communities around the world develop their own programs providing free tutoring available to all students in all subjects‚ engaging communities in education. These programs will be based upon our pilot program here in Enumclaw. Our volunteer tutors come from all corners of the‚ “villages‚“ of Enumclaw and Black Diamond: Students, business professionals, parents and retirees.

Because the Village Tutors business model and in particular the EBT Program are dependent upon the community for success, the program really belongs to the community. As such, I will be writing a monthly column for The Courier-Herald sharing with you our challenges and accomplishments.

I have already outlined our accomplishments in students and hours above and will now address our challenges. We are currently in need of tutors for all grades. Students in kindergarten through eighth grade meet from 6 to 8 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays and those in sixth grade through high school meet from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. We ask tutors to commit to two hours per week on one of these evenings. All tutoring is done at the drop-in center at 1920 Division St. in Enumclaw. Training will be provided for all tutors, as well as lattes and snacks during tutoring hours.

If you are interested, please visit our Web site at www.enumclawtutors.org or call me at 360-825-5014.

Our other need is for ongoing funding. We are currently operating with a deficit of approximately $8,400. This was more than $13,000 last week when the Enumclaw Rotary donated $5,000 to help us close the gap. Donations can be one time or monthly‚ whatever fits your giving budget. For more information on becoming a supporter, visit our Web site, www.enumclawtutors.org. You can also make donations directly online at our Web site via most major credit cards.

In upcoming columns, I will focus more on the specific accomplishments and detailed operational expenses. We are working for complete transparency in all of our operations, after all, it’s your tutoring program, Enumclaw.

Walt Bennett is founder and chief executive officer of Village Tutors.

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