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April: Volunteer Appreciation Month!

April 1, 2022

Happy Volunteer Appreciation Month! Almost 1,200 volunteers deliver Heart Math Tutoring’s program to our students each week, making volunteers the engine behind HMT’s mission of ensuring all elementary students develop the strong foundation in math and enthusiasm for academics needed for long-term success.

To HMT volunteers: THANK YOU for your time and commitment each week to support students. You are amazing. Stories of just a few of you are listed below. Do any of these experiences sound familiar? Please share YOUR favorite tutoring moments or spotlight great work you’ve seen from another tutor in the google form here; we’ll share on social media throughout the month!

Let’s meet some tutors…

Jay’la Rivers and Jean Thomas are both virtual tutors at Statesville Road this year.

Jay’la logs in from Greensboro, North Carolina each week. After hearing about Heart through her employer and Heart partner PwC, Jay’la thought it sounded like a great opportunity. She enjoys working with her students as well as subbing with other students and seeing what they are working on. Statesville Road Heart Program Coordinator Tania Bruderer says “Jay’la is one of the most patient and caring tutors! She is always willing to work with any student if her main student is absent. I know I can give her any student and she will thrive. She always remains flexible and adaptable in every situation.”

Jean heard about Heart through the Black Professionals group at Bank of America 3 years ago. She’s been tutoring ever since and sees the value of being a woman of color paired with students of color. Tania said that Jean is “an outstanding tutor! She is confident, engaging, punctual, and truly makes sure her students are working hard, understanding the material, and feeling enthusiastic about math. Her students absolutely have an amazing time with her!” A Mathematics major, Jean loves that she gets to share something she enjoys with her students.

Adam Jupiter is in his second year of tutoring with Heart. He is tutoring at Endhaven, where Program Coordinator Debbie Kirsch says, “Adam has worked hard to build a relationship with both of his students and this has really drawn the students into the program.  In addition to volunteering with Heart, Adam does a lot to give back to the school including dropping off cupcakes for teachers on Valentine’s Day and providing a teacher luncheon for Teacher Appreciation Week.” Adam enjoys math and loves getting to do something he enjoys with his students. He added that helping teachers is especially rewarding for him.

Andres Romero, a Heart tutor since the fall of 2017, heard about our program through his employer and Heart partner Wells Fargo. He finds what he describes as “sincere joy” in being a part of the program and making one-to-one relationships with students. Andres is from Colombia and is a native Spanish speaker; he finds it particularly rewarding to work with students that may have similar experiences. Andres is currently tutoring at Smithfield where Amanda Griffin is the Heart Program Coordinator. She said “Andres has a very calm demeanor and is an excellent listener. During his tutoring sessions, he knows exactly when to lead and when to sit back and allow the student to speak up. This is a great skill to help the students build self-confidence. Additionally, Andres is steady and consistent, yet flexible and willing to always help other students.”

Andres said he sees real progress in his students from week to week. Students may start out shy, but as tutoring continues, they get more comfortable talking about the lessons to where it becomes more of a conversation around math, not just the student following directions. Jean agreed, saying, “Overall, students start off hesitant or unsure of giving a correct answer, but as they become more comfortable with the curriculum and structure, they become more confident in their learning.” Jean also shared that she sees students learning to get to the answer in different ways. Adam agrees, saying the students may start out unsure, but the cubes and cards make the math fun. Jay’la added that she sees students spend more time and effort on problems. “Even if they get it wrong, they try again.”

When asked about her favorite thing about tutoring, Jay’la said she likes “seeing excitement in kids as they are logging on, seeing excitement in students to learn.” Jean and Adam added that the students’ smiles are their favorite part. Jean shared that one of her student’s smiles last year would, “light up my world.” It’s been more challenging to see students’ faces this year due to masks, but even with those on, we can still see smiles peeking out. Andres likes seeing the progress and data of the program – how many students are served and the growth they make throughout the year. “The numbers tell a fantastic story,” He says.

“I’m really happy to be a part of the program and would recommend it to anyone and everyone who’s interested in community involvement or helping kids,” Andres concluded. Jay’la agreed, saying simply, “I really enjoy it.” Jean shared that she is very passionate about Heart and loves the program. “I wouldn’t be able to do Heart without Bank of America’s commitment to volunteerism,” Jean added. In addition to being grateful for our tutors, Heart is appreciative of the support that so many of our community partners provide. We could not serve students without their dedication.

Thank you to Jean, Jay’la, Adam and Andres for sharing about your tutoring experiences, and thank you to our Community Partners for encouraging tutoring and supporting volunteers! Thank you to all our tutors who meet with students each week! Did anything resonate with you? Please share with us one of your favorite moments from tutoring! Or have you noticed great tutoring going on? Spotlight your fellow tutors who are going above and beyond for students. Entries in this Google Form will be shared throughout the month on social media.

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