Quarterly Newsletter 


End of School Year Update

As the school year comes to a close, we wanted to say "Thank you" to all the fantastic volunteers who dedicated their valuable time to deserving Redwood City School District students at Fair Oaks Elementary, McKinley Middle School and Kennedy Middle School. 

In 2017-18, we grew 100% from 11 to 22 volunteers and expanded to a new middle school, Kennedy.  

We also identified that we are the only literacy non-profit that works in-class supporting teachers in the middle school grades in the Peninsula area.  All other literacy non-profits in the area provide either after-school tutoring or in-class tutoring supporting grades K-5.  So providing volunteers for in-class literacy tutoring with 6th-8th graders will continue to be our area of expansion. 

We will, however, continue to run the after-school Book Club program for 4th and 5th graders at Fair Oaks Elementary which will stay open in 2018-19 after it was originally slated to be closed by the RWC school district earlier in the year. We've been at Fair Oaks for many years, and plan to remain for as long as the school remains open.  ​

This summer we will be hard at work putting together a training program for volunteers.  We already have a some teachers willing to work with us on this program.  If you're a teacher (or former teacher) and also want to help work on or review the training program, please send an email to [email protected].

Photo of MIT Kids

Next Year's Tutoring Schedules!

We are working with the Principals at Kennedy and MIT to determine the Fall schedules and will post this to our website and send a newsletter as soon as the schedules are set.  They will probably be similar times, however, with 3rd and/or 4th period classes (around 10am to 11am or 11am to 12pm) M-F with a Thursday minimum day.   

We are also working with Fair Oaks administrators to determine if the after-school Book Club schedule will remain Thursdays from 1:45 to 3pm. 

Teacher and Volunteer Surveys

Thanks to all the teachers and volunteers who took our end-of-the year surveys. The main feedback we received from teachers is that they would like to have a better understanding of what our tutors can do before they start - for instance, it would be nice for them to be trained in the same literacy curriculum. They’d also like to be provided with an instructional email on best practices for how to utilize the volunteers before we begin in the Fall.

The volunteer feedback was also positive, and most of you are interested in returning if the schedule fits.  (We are so thankful.)  You're split on whether training should be online or in-class.  We will probably do a combination of both.  

Thank you for providing me your feedback, and please note the surveys are still open. So if you haven't had time yet to take the survey, here they are:

Volunteer Survey

Teacher Survey  

Amazon Smile Donations

Amazon Smile Logo

Though we keep them low as possible, we still do have some expenses such as background check reimbursements, books at Fair Oaks, and salary for our part-time Program Director.  So are always looking for donations. 

One easy way to donate to Los Ayudantes is to use the Amazon Smile link every time you shop.  The AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price from your eligible AmazonSmile purchases.   Just bookmark this link and use it every time you shop.  Thank you!

Photo of Fair Oaks Kids

Must-Read Literacy Article

Here's an interesting article about a recently completed study which seems to show that a student's curiosity predicts her success in math and reading.  The the effect was more pronounced for students of low socio-economic backgrounds. From the article: 

"Of particular interest was the finding that the benefits were more pronounced for students in poverty. This was contrary to the expectations of the authors but was immediately suggested as a way to help close the achievement gap between children who grow up in poverty and their wealthy peers."

We only have a short time with the kids per day, but we can try to have have a more profound effect during that time by asking them deep questions about what they're reading and challenging them to think curiously about their world. 

Why more curious kids learn better, especially poorer ones:


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