Judy Gross oversees JCC Manhattan's Partners for Literacy and Math Programs and the Gift of Literacy and Math and Graduate Program, which pair community volunteers with K-12 students who are performing significantly below grade level in their public schools.
Engage volunteers participate as tutors in the program. I spoke with Judy Gross, who highly recommends that Engage members consider taking advantage of this unique volunteer opportunity. This work combines community service and social action by “leveling the playing field” for deserving children living in our community. Judy believes that Engage members make exceptional volunteers since they possess the life experience and maturity to accept the responsibility and make the commitment needed to create a meaningful bond with a child in need.
The tutoring program has proven effective. In 2014-2015, on average, the second graders in the program progressed more than a grade level; and all students in the graduate program were promoted to the next grade. The program is currently in need of more tutors. All new tutors get training in a highly structured, research-based protocol and have the opportunity to participate in group meetings where volunteers come to socialize, support each other’s efforts, and learn from experts about the latest, most effective tutoring techniques. Volunteer assignment can range from one hour a week to a few hours each day.