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A 'win-win' program

Lauren Wells
Monmouth College senior Jerrica Myers takes a quick time-out from working with a student at Monmouth’s Central Elementary School. Myers is one of 40 Monmouth students who provide free tutoring services in the Monmouth-Roseville district.
Through its work-study program, Monmouth College has 40 students who are providing tutoring services this fall.

Jerrica Myers, a senior from Sublette, has been tutoring in Monmouth elementary schools for the past three years, and she is one of about a dozen students working at Monmouth’s Central Elementary School.

“I usually work with different students every day, based on what the material is and which students need the most help,” said Myers, who typically works four days per week.

Heidi Gengenbacher, Central’s principal and a 2000 Monmouth College graduate, gladly welcomes MC students into her school and into her students’ lives.

“Having college students working with our students has many benefits,” she said. “Our students gain a connection to the college and benefit from a different method of instruction and support. The college students bring a different viewpoint to learning and can sometimes reach them in an alternate way.”

“This program provides much needed help to local schools at no cost to District #238,” said Jayne Schreck, MC’s director of financial aid. “Monmouth College students, many of whom are in our teacher education program, are developing the skills needed to be an effective educator in the future. And the youth in three different Monmouth-Roseville schools are receiving additional individual attention in areas such as reading and math. It’s wonderful when the college and the community can work together on projects that produce such good results. It’s a win-win for all involved.”

Gengenbacher said Central’s students aren’t only given extra help on their homework, but receive an inspiration to succeed as well.

“I feel the student’s general attitude towards the tutors is positive, as they look to college students as mentors and role models,” she said. “In the long run, I hope that the tutoring program will help raise student achievement levels and keep children focused on their future.”

“The students become very proud of their academics,” said Myers. “The greatest feeling is when a student that has been having homework issues in the past approaches you with completed homework with a perfect grade on the top.”