Tutoring program offers weekly sessions
Wednesday November 9, 2011 — Deb Bartlett
The free tutoring service offered through Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion (BACI) helps children struggling with school work while offering a brief period of respite and networking for parents.
Sarah Baumbusch is a family support worker with BACI. The tutoring sessions are funded by the BC Gaming Grant and donations, and are offered for children who have a developmental disability including developmental delay, autism and Down syndrome.
The tutors are special education aides at a local elementary school, and have a skill set that parents may not have.
Working with parents, the tutors are able to teach them ways to better help the child, says Sarah.
“The more one-on-one nature of the program allows us to meet the child more where they’re at, as opposed to in the classroom where they might not get as much one-to-one time,” she says.
“We help with homework completion, or we work on skills that the parent has asked us to build on,” says Sarah.
The tutoring service offered through BACI has identified a need for English as a Second Language (ESL)-specific tutoring.
“We’re quite an aide to parents who themselves don’t speak English as their first language and are very appreciative of the fact that we can spend the time with the children, working on their English as well as their school work,” Sarah says.
The family support team is looking into ways to address this need, she says, although no changes to the regular tutoring sessions have been made.
The children are interviewed prior to the start of the term, to see if their personalities will be a good match with others in the group.
They must be able to work independently, at least for a short period of time, says Sarah.
Students in kindergarten to Grade 7 are eligible for the tutoring program, which offers 45-minute tutoring sessions. There are six to eight sessions in a term, which align with the school year.
There is capacity of 12 children per term.
“The program provides some level of respite for the family, because during that time period they can go do shopping, or they can go for walk,” says Sarah.
“It’s also a place for parents to connect to children with similar challenges,” she says.
For information on the tutoring program, contact Sarah at 604-292-1280 or e-mail sarah.baumbusch(at)gobaci.com.
Donations to support the program are welcome, and should specify “family support.”
To comment on this story, or to share how your programming identified other needs in the community, contact Deb at 800-294-0051, ext. 30, or e-mail deb(at)axiomnews.ca.