Campus Compact

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Campus Compact > Program Models > Program Models Campus-Community Partnerships (And/Or Campus/Corporate/Community Partnerships) > The Learning Connection: mentoring program for fourth grade students

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The Learning Connection: mentoring program for fourth grade students

Moravian College - PA
President: ERVIN ROKKE
Contact Person: Contact person: Phyllis Walsh, Coordinator of Community Service and The Learning Connection Program, [email protected]

Moravian College sees engaging its students in community service as integral to its mission. Through our student s civic engagement we give them the opportunity to put what they are learning in the classroom into use where it benefits humanity. The lesson that we are trying to teach them is that education is not an end in its self, but rather the invitation to see and know the world and to respond to its ever changing needs.

One way in which we are doing this is through a program which we have named The Learning Connection, or TLC for short. TLC brings together Moravian College students, two area Elementary Schools, and the generosity of a number of corporate sponsors in an effort to provide a mentoring program for fourth grade students.

We began this program last year after our funding was put in place through an initial grant from Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. Through its funding and their assistance in helping us secure other corporate sponsors we were able to raise close to $25,000 to run the program. This money allowed us to hire a part-time employee to coordinate the program.

This coordinator then began working with two area elementary schools to identify students and their families who would most benefit from the experience of being paired with a college student. At this same time we also began the process of recruiting and training the best Moravian College students for the mentoring positions. When all of that was completed we wound up with twenty-one fourth graders, and twenty-one college students to begin their partnerships.

TLC works by having the mentors go to the elementary schools once a week to meet with their mentees for about one hour. This is done during the school day. The teachers know when this will be happening and more often than not have an assignment for the pair to work on that helps in an area in which the child is having difficulty. In addition to this once a week meeting we then bring the children and their families to our campus twice a month for a Saturday morning program which includes more one-on-one time with their mentors, and an enrichment program for the entire group which is led by a Moravian College faculty member. While the children are involved with their programs, the parents are also given the opportunity to take part in workshops to strengthen their skills. This past year these workshops included topics such as how to best help your children with their homework, how to help your children with bullies at school, and how to best form a partnership with your child s teacher.

Besides the benefits that these programs provide, our hope is to give these students and their families a chance to be on a college campus with the hopes that they will make attending college a part of their long-range plans.
Assessment of the program shows that over 70 percent of the students participating in TLC showed a grade improvement in at least one subject during the year. Many also showed an improvement in the classroom behavior as well.

TLC has also been of benefit to the families as well. In particular the mother of one of our fourth graders, through contacts she made in this program, was able to secure employment with the College in our Physical Plant department and is now taking courses in our evening school.
In the coming year we hope to keep all of those students who began with us last year, and to add another contingent of fourth graders, essentially doubling the program.

For more information contact Phyllis Walsh, Coordinator of Community Service and The Learning Connection Program, pwalsh {at} moravian(.)edu.

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We want to develop a student leadership program to provide support to our local agencies with the majority of work being done recruiting campus organizations to serve at various sites. The Campus Compact material was the most useful resource thus far. Thank you!"

-LeeAnn Brown, Bonner Scholars Director, West Virginia Wesleyan College