Student Organization Name: The JHU Tutorial Project
Category of Group: Community Service
Year Founded: 1958
Your Name: Wafa K
Your Year: Class of 2012
Your Position: Organizer
One of the most meaningful and fulfilling activities that I participate in at Hopkins is the Johns Hopkins Tutorial Project. The Johns Hopkins Tutorial Project is an “after-school tutoring program for elementary school children in Baltimore City” and is one of the most inspiring activities I have been a part of ever, and that I get to witness twice a week. The Tutorial Project was founded in 1958, making it the longest-running program of its kind in Baltimore, and since its inception has served more than 5,000 kids.
I choose to become involved in the Tutorial Project because it was one of the many things that initially attracted me to coming to Hopkins in the first place. Having an organization of this nature that runs for over fifty years requires dedication and passion that is synonymous with the Hopkins student population. Further, it is the founding block for the Center for Social Concern where many of the socially and community-minded organizations at Hopkins find their home.
The Tutorial Project encompasses approximately 100 children that come to the Homewood campus twice a week either by bus or by their families, and each child has their own tutor. The tutors, who are trained at the beginning of each semester, offer individual help in reading, math, science, geography etc. The tutors plan an hour of activities and educational games based on their unique child, based on assessments conducted at the beginning of the semester.
The people that conduct those assessments, and who are imperative to the smooth operation of the Tutorial Project, are organizers. Being an Organizer, which I am, requires one to be in charge of between four to six pairs of tutee-tutor, including training of the tutor, testing at the beginning and end of the semester of each tutee, and checking on the pairs every session, as well as dealing with making snack, riding the bus, special activities, behavior problems, monitoring play time at the end of every session, etc.
In addition to the elementary school children, this past fall semester, the Tutorial Project also began its first semester of a sister program called LEAD, which is catered to middle school kids. Instead of traditional tutoring, these students are paired with a graduate student and spend the semester developing projects in areas of academia that are of interest to them.
All Hopkins students are encouraged to become tutors. Nobody is turned away, because every additional Hopkins student we get to be a tutor means we get to say yes to another Baltimore family that wants their children in the program.
The Tutorial Project is so amazing because it epitomizes all the best things about Hopkins: encouraging academic pursuits, helping one another out, inspiring children, and giving back to the community in a touching and significant way.
Many children in the program come from tough family situations and even tougher neighborhoods, and it is the height of their week coming to the Homewood campus to interact and learn with Hopkins students. Being a part of that experience, and seeing it constantly, is indescribable and something I plan to be a part of for the rest of my time at Hopkins.