Creating a Circle of Care Through Tutoring

By Eric Steckel | February 20, 2024

Alejandro’s Remarkable Path to Math and Jeanne’s Dream Fulfilled
Alejandro with Jeanne at MLK

Your gifts have been a blessing to Alejandro and Jeanne. “He can see his own progress, and each time he comes, he gets a little bit better and a little more confident. So it’s both my excitement and his enthusiasm.”

Children Rising volunteer tutoring programs nurture children in a circle of care, enabling them to thrive in subjects that seemed out of their reach. A beautiful aspect of the relationship is that they also provide caring adults an opportunity to learn a new vocation—and, in some cases, to follow their dreams.

Alejandro Thrives in Math … and Develops Confidence in Learning

Alejandro is a second-grader who speaks Spanish at home, and English is his second language. When Jeanne Cooney, his Path2Math tutor, met Alejandro, he was at a kindergarten level in his math skills.

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Through one-on-one reading and math tutoring, and family support, you will nurture an eager child in a circle of care so they may succeed in school.

“He was a quiet little guy who was reluctant to engage in the program,” Jeanne recalls. “He could identify numbers maybe up to 15 but struggled past 15. We had a hard time getting past 15, but we just kept working and working,”

Frequently, ESL children have difficulty translating numbers and words from their native tongue into English. It takes time and patience to help them make the connection. After working twice a week for the past four months, a light seemed to go on in his head, and he rapidly began to count past 15 all the way to 100.

“It’s making a difference. He’s just a super eager kid and curious. He’s seen a little bit of progress, and I think he wants more,” Jeanne said. Indeed, Alejandro is now working on fractions and mastering skills far beyond counting to 15. Currently, his online assessment scores show that he is now at an early second-grade level.

“Building trust and making them feel comfortable, even if they don’t get the answer right, is critical. I tell him, ‘It’s okay. We’re going to work through it.’”

Jeanne Finds A New Vocation … and a Dream Realized

Jeanne was a stay-at-home mom who long harbored aspirations to teach. When her husband John retired, Path2Math provided an opportunity to go into a school and teach children math together.

“It’s just been a wonderful experience for my husband and me. We get as much out of it as the kids do, that’s for sure. And you grow to kind of love them and just love the challenge of seeing them get better.”
Jeanne and John Cooney at H4CN_Gala 2023-100

“I like tutoring with my husband. It’s something that we can do together, and we like to chat about it afterward. We like to think of things to do that are creative and bounce things off one another.”

“My husband and I wanted to do something together as a retired couple. And I always wanted to explore teaching and working in a school. I feel like in a lot of ways it’s kind of fulfilling that dream of mine, to actually get to work with kids, and teach them, and help facilitate their learning,” Jeanne revealed.

Thanks to your support, Jeanne has discovered a new vocation, and Alejandro has developed confidence in learning.

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