Fenton Primary Center, Maclay Middle School, and Bert Corona High School

This project would answer the question: what are the most ideal situations for students in different schools along the K-9 pipeline work together to create an effective service learning project? And what is the impact of teachers viewing themselves as community change-agents as they engage and collaborate with their colleagues in vertical articulation.

This project facilitated collaboration among an elementary, middle school, and high school to  create a successful service learning program. This partnership has enhanced college and career readiness through a tutoring program that allowed High School and Middle School students to mentor elementary school students.

In the summer of 2016, the program was expanded from 15 to 20 Bert Corona High School students. These students mentored Kindergarten through second grade students three times a week. They were on schedule to complete 1,500 volunteer hours for the year, however, since many worked through their vacation days, they collectively completed 1,700 hours of volunteer service to the students at Fenton. Students also had the chance to read to seniors in a convalescent home, and learned about the value of succeeding in school. The tutoring program not only improved the academic achievement scores of elementary school students, but also, increased their self-confidence. Throughout the program, the volunteer coordinators have watched the most struggling students turn around to become some of the most engaged, confident, and motivated.

Faculty and staff at Fenton were highly satisfied with tutors and gave nothing but positive feedback. Fenton Principal Parra commented that “Teachers have been amazed by the professionalism exemplified by the high school teenagers.  Each them have bonded with the smaller students who they caringly refer to as, ‘My kids.’” The Bert Corona High School Principal remarked: “We are extremely proud of our local collaboration between our high school and the local primary center.” He affirmed the value of volunteerism as a cornerstone of strong communities. This project has been handed over to the principals involved and has flourished under their leadership.