STAR additional information

Oakland Avenue Presbyterian Church
STAR Tutoring Program

(Student Tutoring and Recreation)

     OAPC has been tutoring the children at Ebenezer Avenue Elementary School for about twenty years. It was an outreach ministry began by Sue Gill, a retired teacher parishioner. The leadership has continued through the yearly cycle of children by various members of the church.

     STAR assists Ebenezer children in grades one through five each Thursday afternoon from September through May, on a weekly basis. The number of students is divided among the grade levels with a total this year of 24 children. The children are selected by the school based upon the student need for additional classroom assistance and the parent/student desire for help.

     At the end of each summer, a STAR leadership team meets with the school administrators to discuss their academic needs for the coming school year and potential students that have this need. The last two years, STAR tutors have focused to improve reading skills in the students.

     Once the final decision is made on the student selection, parents/guardians are contacted for permission for their child/children to attend STAR. Each year we begin with a new group of first graders. The other children return each fall unless they move out of the Ebenezer school zone. Children that move are replaced with new children on that grade level.

     Each child works with the same tutor for the first three years of STAR. Then they are placed with a new tutor for grades four and five. This is done for continuity and bonding between child and tutor. The only reason a change is made, is that most tutors are most comfortable with a lower elementary or upper elementary student. Since the tutors are all volunteers, we want them to be comfortable as they work with a child.

     When STAR begins in the fall, a small group of STAR tutors walk the children from the school to the church each week. Upon arrival at the church activity area, the children are fed a nutritious snack and talk about the day with their tutors. As snack time is ending, a group leader will discuss life skill topics like kindness or trustworthiness for a few minutes with the children. At this point, the older children leave the area with their tutor to a quiet, individual study area. The younger children continue in group to hear a read aloud story, sing songs, or play a short game based upon the life skill lesson of that day. They too then leave with their tutor for a quiet area to practice reading skills.

     The children are at STAR from the end of the school day until 4:00 pm. (About 1.5 hours) At 4:00, the children are taken home via the church vans. Each week, two parishioners volunteer to drive the van or ride to insure the safety of the children while they are in our care.

      The children enjoy coming to STAR each week. One of the best parts for them is the final STAR activity for the year. Each child that participates in STAR is given a scholarship that allows them to attend the first overnight camping session at Bethelwoods. The youngest children go to first timer camp for three days and the rest go for the entire week of camp. Some of the children will be going to Bethelwoods for their fifth time this summer.

      All the volunteers to the STAR program want it to be an enriching experience for the children. Your donation to our book fund has helped to insure this happens for all the children. Thank you.

Last Published: May 1, 2019 11:33 AM