By Ava Millstone
Thank you to all of our neighbors who tutored young people at Amidon-Bowen Elementary School this year. The tutoring program, part of Southwest Neighborhood Assembly’s Education and Scholarship Task Force, had a successful first year and is recruiting volunteers for next year.
Read more below about Amidon-Bowen’s Tutor of the Month: Audrey Hinton. Afterwards, if you feel inspired, sign up to learn more. There will be an Information Session for interested tutors during the evening the week of September 9 to kick off the 2019-20 school year. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to sign up.
Interview with Audrey Hinton:
How long have you lived in Southwest?
I worked in Southwest at the Department of Housing and Urban Development from 1973 to 2014. My husband and I moved to Southwest in 2012, shortly after our marriage.
What do you do in your professional life?
I have a Master of City Planning degree from MIT. I am currently retired, but most of my career was spent at HUD in supervisory and managerial positions, where I developed policy and procedures for privately-owned multifamily developments.
What made you get involved in the tutoring program at Amidon-Bowen?
For almost 20 years I volunteered with the High Expectations program, a mentoring program for girls at Jefferson Academy. When I heard that a tutoring program was being organized at Amidon-Bowen, I knew I wanted to participate. The location was within walking distance of home, I like math, enjoy working with children, and I would have an opportunity to give back to the community.
Describe your favorite moment so far from the program.
My favorite moment so far was when “my girls,” as I referred to Melissa, Amber and Giselle, did a cheer (with cartwheels) for me and sang songs! This had nothing to do with math, but I believe in having fun too.
What is one thing you enjoy, appreciate or respect about your students?
I appreciated how smart my girls were and their interest in learning. Some days they found the lessons “too hard.” Then I would find other ways to explain the lesson. For example, to show how fractions are used in daily life, I took four, spoon-shaped measuring cups to the class—one cup, one-half cup, one-fourth cup, and one-third cup—and we pretended to bake a cake. Eager to learn, my girls stuck with it until they got it!
Why should other Southwest community members consider joining the program as tutors next year?
In light of the low test scores in reading and math at Amidon-Bowen, I think it is incumbent among the Southwest community to do what we can to help the students. It doesn’t take a lot of one’s time and the school is nearby. We meet once a week for only an hour, which goes by quickly. Preparation time, for me, was only about 15-20 minutes to look over the lesson and give thought to how I would present it. More than that is the sense of joy and sense of accomplishment one will feel, as I surely did, when the students finally “get it.”