By MORRIE PONGRATZ
Kiwanis Key Club Advisor
Last July, anticipating challenges as schools reopened, LAPS Superintendent Kurt Steinhaus contacted JJAB Executive Director Lisa Zuhn and me as Kiwanis Key Club advisor, about recruiting students to volunteer as tutors.
Key Club is a student-led, high school organization whose members make the world a better place through service. The Kiwanis Club of Los Alamos sponsors Key Club plus other Service Leadership Programs including K-Kids and Builders Club.
I sent an email to the Key Club members:
“Key Clubbers, once school starts the school officials anticipate that many students will need tutoring help. I have been asked to recruit Key Clubbers as volunteer tutors. Think about this as a way to get community service hours. You won’t be needed until school resumes. Reply to me if you are interested. Thanks.”
In response JJAB has had 13 Key Clubbers volunteer. Kiwanian Betsy Hemphill provided Tutor Orientation training Aug. 10 and six Key Clubbers attended. One decided to not proceed due to his schedule. Of the other 12, eight have received assignments and one student has two tutoring assignments.
Also, JJAB has made connections with two families that have two children and they each have their own tutor. The Key Clubbers are tutoring kids from Kindergarten through 9th grade, the main subject is math, but also reading, science, and general assistance with homework.
So now that school has started what is the reaction of the students helping students?
Key Club President Bella Martinez-Pruet writes, “I am SO glad I volunteered to be a tutor. It’s taught me so much about how different people learn, and has even convinced me to change my own study habits! I tutor two students, one is a 9th grader and the other is a 3rd grader, in multiple subjects. I’ve come to love spending time with my tutor kids and now consider them really good friends!
Last year’s Vice President Audrey Nolen writes, “I’m so glad that I volunteered. I’m helping a kindergartener and he’s such a good kid. The hardest thing about all this is the loss of interaction younger kids have. So many social skills are learned during the first years of elementary school and with the online school, that’s hard. With that being said, I love just getting to talk to this kid twice a week. He’s so excited to learn and tell me all about his day. It reminds me to make the best out of this situation.
Key Club Faculty Sponsor Shelley Clark is very proud of the Key Clubbers,
“This time of social isolation has been very difficult on our Key Club members who thrive on being able to help others. I am so proud of them for jumping to provide aid to their fellow students not only academically but socially as well.”
Some Key Clubbers have not yet been assigned a student so if parents are interested in their children being connected to tutoring, they can contact Lisa Zuhn at JJAB (www.losalamosjjab.com/).