October Weekend Adventure
Every fall, tutors and students have an outdoor adventure! In 2009, we took tutors and students to the GWU SUMMIT outdoor Challenge Course which presents unique activitities to encourage physical, mental, and emotional development and team-building. See http://gwired.gwu.edu/summit/home/ for more information about the Challenge Course.
In October 2010, we returned to hosting a weekend camp at Prince William Forest Park near Dumfries, Virginia. This, too, is a great opportunity for students and tutors to socialize and work in teams. Everyone participates in a range of activities, including hikes, touch football, softball, horseshoes, tie-dyeing, pumpkin-carving, and a Saturday night talent show. Tutors and students also take turns cooking for their fellow campers or cleaning up. We sleep in cabins, and there are showers and indoor plumbing facilities. These events are free to tutors and students.
Thanksgiving Tutor Turkey Party
This annual potluck for tutors is held the Sunday before Thanksgiving is a purely social occasion. It’s a great opportunity to get to eat delicious food, get to know other tutors, and make new friends.
Mid-Winter Tutor Workshop
At this weekend workshop, tutors work on improving their skills. Each year, we invite guest presenters in a range of fields (reading instruction, child psychology, student mediation, vocational training, college planning and financing, etc.) to share their expertise. In addition, experienced tutors speak about their work and mentor newer tutors. This workshop helps tutors better understand adolescents; locate available teaching and mentoring resources; learn how to work effectively with the expanding variety of schools; and plan new ways to help our students and each other. We often decide on program improvements and launch new activities based on what we learn at the Workshop.
At Career Day, which we have hosted with Mentors, Inc., students have the opportunity to investigate potential career choices through workshops in career exploration, financing a career path, career interest assessment, finding a job (including summer employment and internships), and professional dress. Our students also participate in a vocational career fair hosted by New Futures (www.newfuturesdc.org).
Our year ends when students, tutors, parents, alumni, and college students come together for the Awards Ceremony. We recognize elementary, middle, junior, and senior high school graduates, and celebrate the accomplishments of all the students in the program. Seniors and their tutors give special talks, reflecting on their years in the program, and we award scholarships and academic and trophies. For recipients, it’s a chance to be celebrated. For all students, there are reminders of awards and accomplishments to strive for. We also honor a Tutor of the Year.