Case Western Reserve University Students Tutor Adult Learners at Seeds
Tuesday nights are stacked, tutor-wise, at Seeds East. That’s because Seeds East has been the beneficiary of four weekly tutors from Case Western Reserve University (Case). Working in a service program through the Center for Civic Engagement and Leadership (CCED), these Case students are just the most recent to volunteer with the adult learners at Seeds. The partnership with Seeds actually dates back to February 2014. The initial experience proved to be so popular that once those Case students graduated, more came. The University has even provided them with transportation to ensure they are always able to tutor at Seeds.
Recently ranked the #37 college in the nation by US News & World Report, and practically in the Seeds East backyard, Case is worldwide leader in science, medicine, and technology. Case, and the University Circle neighborhood that plays host to it, is considered the cultural hub of Cleveland. Despite this, the neighborhoods bordering the area have alarming rates of functional illiteracy as high as 95%.
This semester, a small band of Case students has worked to chip away at those numbers, one adult learner at a time. These tutors bring some welcome warmth and energy to evening classes. As the semester draws to a close, Seeds wanted to showcase these MVP tutors.
Hometown: Warrensville, Ohio
Year: Graduate student
Career Aspirations: Nutritionist
First heard about Seeds: Tutored last spring at the Thea Bowman Center, switched to Seeds for this semester.
Seeds impact: “It’s been helpful for me. I want to do nutrition education, so I need to explain concepts in a simple way… It makes me appreciative for the privileges I have.”
Great tutoring experience: “Last week teaching factoring and FOIL. It made me have to think and work it out.”
Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Major: Nutritional Biochemistry
Career Aspirations: Pre-Dental
First heard about Seeds: Her RA last year tutored at Seeds. Raquel has previously logged 600 hours (!) tutoring in Hebrew to fifth graders.
Seeds impact: “It’s nice to know that you’re able to help someone in the time you have to work with them.”
Hometown: Columbus, Ohio
Major: Human Nutrition
Career Aspirations: Pre-dental
First heard about Seeds: Has been involved with Seeds at both locations since freshman year: “I’ve always been interested in adult literacy.”
Seeds impact: “It’s nice working with students for the epiphany. It’s very rewarding to see the fruits of our labor.”
Great tutoring experience: “My second year, I tutored a Bon Apetit worker–they’re the main catering service on campus. It was nice helping someone out who was so close to me. He passed his test at the end, so that was very rewarding.”
Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio
Year: Senior–graduating in December!
Career Aspirations: Medical School
First heard about Seeds: CCEL program. Srinidhi tutored on the Seeds West for two years. She has also worked with Momentum Tutoring.
Seeds impact: “I get to meet a lot of people I wouldn’t have otherwise met. It helps me break out of the college bubble.”
Great tutoring experience: “I worked with a student on the West Side who passed his GED. He came back to give a talk and it was very inspirational.”
Seeds is battling against some overwhelming numbers: 66% illiteracy rate in the city of Cleveland as a whole, as high as 95% in some neighborhoods. But we wouldn’t be in the fight at all were it not for our volunteer tutors.
Tutors here, and all over the country, are changing lives every day, and organizations like Seeds could not help our communities without them. Since Seeds’ beginning, tutors have been the backbone of the organization, and as we continue to expand our outreach efforts, they are more important now than ever.
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