When area youngsters need special help with their schoolwork outside of school, who can they call? Study Buddies. That’s right, the Study Buddies team, a group of Millersville education majors, provides free one-on-one tutoring in reading, English, math, foreign language, science and history to children from local school districts including Lancaster, Penn Manor, Manheim Township and Hempfield.
Coordinated and funded by its parent organization, MU’s Student-Pennsylvania State Education Association (S-PSEA), Study Buddies has been in operation for 20 years. As its president, Jocelyn Lurie, a junior majoring in early childhood and special education, organizes tutoring services for local schools and community members by matching MU tutors with area children.
Lurie pairs one child, or “buddy,” pre-K through grade 12, to one college student tutor, and the tutoring takes place on the MU campus.
“Parents and teachers reach out to us to help students who are having a hard time in school. I love getting to know each family and really work with them to best help their child,” said Lurie. “The kids like coming to the sessions. I’m sure they would like it better if they did not have to do homework and study, but we try to make it fun and exciting for them.”
Lurie first learned about the program three years ago and joined on as a tutor. She later became vice president and now enjoys the responsibility of serving as the program’s president.
“I wanted to get as involved as possible with education on campus. I really like helping others, and I felt that Study Buddies was a great way to do community service while making new friends and connections at school,” Lurie said.
Lurie is helped by a team of dedicated tutors and two Study Buddies vice presidents David Morning, a senior majoring in elementary education, and Emily Bates, a junior majoring in early childhood and special education.
This is Morning’s second year as a Study Buddies tutor and his first year as vice president. As vice president, he assists Lurie with administrative duties such as contacting parents concerning enrollment into the program, confirming tutoring schedules and sending reminders to parents. He also oversees the tutors during the program’s nightly sessions and is available to speak with parents during those times.
“For our tutors, we try to set up their buddies around the same grade level they are certified in. For example, if we have an 11th grade student who needs help in math, we will pair him or her up with a tutor who is either middle level or secondary level education certified,” said Morning. “However, when I tutor, I am usually paired with a student who is in pre-k to fifth grade. We tutor the students in the subjects they need the most help in.”
Co-vice president Bates tutors math and reading and also helps with the program’s administration. “My duties include calling parents in the beginning of the semester as well as making and maintaining the sign-in sheet for both the tutors and the students,” Bates said.
Megan McGill is a junior at MU majoring in early childhood and special education. She joined Study Buddies in her freshman year and tutors elementary students one-on-one for one hour per week, helping with homework, studying and math.
“I love being a Study Buddies tutor because it is great being able to help students in our community. I have been tutoring the same student for three years now, and it has been amazing to see his progress from kindergarten to second grade,” McGill said.
The feeling seems to be mutual for members of MU’s Study Buddies program. They state that they love tutoring, and they are not afraid to say it.
“I love interacting with the students and their parents. This experience is helping me grow as a professional and is preparing me for the future,” Morning said. “The kids are a joy to be around with every night, and the buddies and their parents both continue to tell us how much they enjoy coming to our program. Study Buddies just continues to grow in numbers, and I’m excited to come back and see the progression of this organization in the future.”
Bates echoed those sentiments. “I love being a tutor for Study Buddies. All of the tutors truly care about the students that come in. In addition, there are bonds formed in Study Buddies between the tutors and the students that are absolutely incredible to see. Study Buddies truly helps all of their students academically as well as builds friendships.”
“I love Study Buddies! There is no better way to spend two hours of my week then getting to help children who are struggling in school. Seeing their progress makes it all worth it,” Lurie added.
For more information about Study Buddies, please visit the website at https://sites.google.com/site/studybuddysite/