In the fall 2012 semester, the University of Connecticut Greater Hartford campus began its third year of partnership with the Hartford non-profit community organization, ConnectiKids.
Beginning in 2010, fifth and sixth graders from MD Fox School in Hartford travel to the campus once a week during the school year to be tutored by UConn student volunteers.
“This year is looking great,” said John Prescod, Executive Director of ConnectiKids, “We have 20 different tutors on the Greater Hartford site, with the average site having 25 tutors.”
The student volunteers are directed under the Office of Service-Learning, located in the Greater Hartford campus, which is an academic initiative that integrates meaningful services identified by the community, while reinforcing course theory and curriculum. In the relationship between ConnectiKids and UConn, the Office of Service-Learning assists with promoting the tutoring opportunity throughout the campus, including coordinating each tutoring session.
“ConnectiKids has been instrumental along with the Office of Service-Learning in creating and maintaining this important mutually beneficial relationship between the University and the community,” said Dr. Michael Menard, the Director of the Greater Hartford Campus, adding that giving back to the community is one of the main missions of the University.
In addition to UConn, Trinity College and the University of Saint Joseph also participate in weekly tutoring sessions during the school year. Both universities began their partnership with ConnectiKids in 2006.
The students, separated into groups, travel to a specific high school, state agency, or a local corporation for the tutoring program.
In total, the tutoring program matches over 250 individual tutors with over 250 students from MD Fox Elementary School and West Middle Community School. The tutors depends on each site; the government agencies have workers as tutors, the high school and college sites all have students as tutors, and corporate sites have their workers as tutors.
In 2012, the following have partnerships with ConnectiKids; Aetna, The Hartford, Asylum Hill Boys and Girls Club, the Asylum Hill Congregational Church, Department of Public Health, Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, Department of Developmental Services, and Office of Policy and Management.
“We served 329 kids in total last year, that’s between our two schools and three different programs,” said Prescod, adding his primary goal is “to offer our unique program and services to more schools.”
In addition to the tutoring program, ConnectiKids offers two other programs; the arts and enrichment program and a summer program. To learn more about these programs, visit the ConnectiKids website at www.ct-kids.org.
“We would love to expand and go forward with what we offer and what we are able to provide,” explains Prescod, “Grow our volume of service, and increase the quality and diversity of what we are able to offer.”