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SU students give back to the community through CPCS programs
SU students give back to the community through CPCS programsMay 05, 2003Kelly Homan Rodoskikahoman@syr.edu
At an April 23 wrap-up party for the Starbucks Stars program in the Schine Student Center, students from Hughes Magnet School in Syracuse listened intently as local storyteller Jackie Grace told a story of an African woman laboring in a field. The next story, about a big-mouthed frog named Leroy, brought the students to their feet to “strut their stuff” in a Leroy-like fashion.
Bringing such stories to life was a fitting conclusion for the semester-long tutoring program that focused on the literacy needs of youth in the Syracuse City School District. The program was born from a $8,550 grant received by the Syracuse University Center for Public and Community Service (CPCS)/Literacy Corps (SULC) from the Starbucks Foundation last September. Through the program, employees of the Starbucks on Marshall Street worked one-on-one with 14 third- and fourth-grade students to read, interact with and help the students with academic problem areas under the supervision of the reading and writing specialists at Hughes.
The grant initiative was planned and implemented by CPCS leadership intern Samantha Long, a sophomore in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and The College of Arts and Sciences. Literacy Corps tutors trained the Starbucks volunteers in the “Franklin Model,” a tutoring model developed by Kathleen Hinchman, associate professor of reading and language arts in the School of Education, in collaboration with SCSD administrators and teachers, CPCS and the SU Chancellor’s Office. Starbucks tutors were also provided cultural competency training to orient them to the community and the school.
Johnny Greenleaf, manager of the Marshall Street Starbucks, says that the program was a win-win situation for both the students and the Starbucks employees.
“Starbucks is a great company to work for, and this is what the culture of the company is all about- giving back to the community,” says Greenleaf.
He says that parents tell their children that reading is important, and teachers do as well. Having someone outside of the education arena underscoring that message makes it hit home.
Long said she was pleased with the success of this year’s program, and is hopeful to continue the program next year.
Students mentored though ‘Balancing the Books’
Also during the Spring semester, seventh- and eighth-grade students from Syracuse’s Huntington School were mentored by student volunteers from the School of Management (SOM) through the “Balancing the Books” program.
The program, funded by JP Morgan Chase, is a collaboration of the SOM, CPCS and Huntington School. Volunteers met one-on-one with the Huntington students every other week to help them deal with the difficult transition from middle school to high school. Mentors work with students on financial literacy, language, mathematics and other life skills that are necessary to help students achieve their goals in school and after graduation.
After a yearlong development process, the “Balancing the Books” pilot program began in 2000 with six mentors and six mentees, this year’s program included 16 Huntington students and 16 SOM volunteers.
“The idea behind the program is to provide support and friendship to these students while working on improving their overall academic life skills through a variety of lessons we create,” says Jill Doloff, a senior in the School of Management and the CPCS leadership intern for the program.
Each mentor works one-on-one with a Huntington student so that a relationship can be cultivated.
“It can be quite an amazing thing to watch,” says Doloff. “These students have grown so much over the course of the year, and so have the mentors.”
The Huntington students visited SU on April 25. They toured campus, ate lunch in Shaw Dining Hall and participated in an awards ceremony.
Additionally, CPCS hosted a Teacher Appreciation Reception on April 29 in the Goldstein Student Center. At the event, The Literacy Corps honored its community partners and the teachers and site supervisors who work with the SULC tutors. Graduating seniors were also acknowledged.