——– Original Message ——–
Subject:     RE: VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES FOR UNIVERSITY STUDENTS! – TUTORING PROGRAM FOR STUDENTS OF PORTUGUESE & SPANISH SPEAKING DESCENT
Date:     Tue, 9 Aug 2011 12:34:24 -0400
From:     Sonia Neves <sneves@workingwomencc.org>
To:     <murty@math.utoronto.ca>

*RE: VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES FOR UNIVERSITY STUDENTS! – TUTORING PROGRAM FOR STUDENTS OF PORTUGUESE & SPANISH SPEAKING DESCENT *

Dear U of T University Faculty Member,

The /On Your Mark/ Tutoring Program is a tutoring program that offers academic assistance to students* of Portuguese-speaking descent and students of Spanish-speaking descent.*

*Your help would be greatly appreciated in promoting this volunteer position to your students. Please feel free to provide my contact information to anyone interested in the volunteer tutor or volunteer tutor supervisor position. I am happy to mail you more information about the program, including flyers and brochures for interested students, please let me know if you are interested. Please feel free to mention this volunteer opportunity to anyone interested over the age of 16 and provide my contact information. *

* *

An ideal Volunteer Tutor would posses the following criteria:

· Student or graduate of a secondary or post-secondary institution

· Excellent Communication skills in English (knowledge of Portuguese and/or Spanish an asset but NOT necessary) Volunteers do not have to be of Portuguese or Spanish speaking descent to become a tutor or tutor supervisor.

· Interest in the field of education and/or social services

· Some experience working with children at the elementary and/or high school level

· Flexible, innovative team player and self-motivated **

Also, if you know of a parent looking for educational assistance for their child(ren) (of Portuguese-speaking descent or Spanish-speaking descent) please feel free to refer them to the /On Your Mark/ Tutoring Program.

When Michael Ornstein’s analysis of “Ethno-racial Inequality in the City of Toronto” was released in March of 2000, the report cited the Portuguese and the Spanish-speaking communities as two groups experiencing extreme disadvantage in the educational system. The report noted that the situation of the Portuguese community and the Spanish-speaking community involves a unique combination of factors including a high proportion of non-high school graduates and very few university graduates.

The /On Your Mark/ Tutoring Program, an initiative established in 2001, was a direct response by the community to those stark statistics and has proven the community’s ability to organize and work together to support its youth and address student academic underachievement and drop out rates. The program, which is free to parents, will be marking its 10^th year of service to the community for the 2011/2012 school year. /On Your Mark/ annually serves close to 250 students of Portuguese-speaking descent and Spanish-speaking descent. The program welcomes close to 150 volunteer tutors and site supervisors a year and operates out of 10 schools, with 68 schools involved from various school boards, including the Toronto District School Board, Toronto Catholic District School Board, and the Dufferin-Peel District School Board.

Students in the program are in grades 1 to 12, are having significant difficulties in one or more subjects and are referred by a teacher./ /Eligible students work one-on-one with a tutor or in small groups of two with a tutor. Tutors focus the tutoring sessions on the students area(s) of academic difficulty, assist student(s) with their homework, help student(s) develop their basic learning skills and help students establish goals for their education. Tutoring sessions are held after school at one of eight school sites in the Metro Toronto Area and is in partnership with the TDSB & TCDSB. The /On Your Mark/ Tutoring Program also offers Saturday morning tutoring at a high school in the community of Dufferin & Bloor.

Please feel free to contact Sonia Neves (Portuguese ext.34) sneves@workingwomencc.org <mailto:sneves@workingwomencc.org> or Zuzuky Diaz (Spanish ext.46) zdiaz@workingwomencc.org <mailto:zdiaz@workingwomencc.org> at the Working Women Community Centre (416) 532-2824 if you have any questions or concerns.

Thank you kindly, your help is greatly appreciated.

Regards,
Sonia

Sonia Neves
Project Coordinator
/On Your Mark/ Tutoring Program
Working Women Community Centre
416-532-2824 ext.34
416-532-1065 (fax)
sneves@workingwomencc.org
www.workingwomencc.org

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