By Ava Millstone
Thank you to all of our neighbors who tutored young people at Amidon-Bowen Elementary School last academic 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 this year.
Read more below about Amidon-Bowen’s Tutors of the Month: Garon and Diane Reeves. Afterwards, if you feel inspired, sign up to learn more. There will be an Information Session on Sept. 10, at 6:30 p.m. at the Wharf, to kick off the 2019-20 school year. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and/or to sign up.
Interview with Garon and Diane Reeves:How long have you lived in SW?
Garon has been commuting from the Raleigh, North Carolina area to work in DC for over nine years. Our first SW experience was when we rented a studio apartment at River Park and we really enjoyed the diversity and energy of the area. When we decided to get a more permanent residence, we were immediately drawn back to the SW area. We love the location and the neighborhood feel of our community.
What do you do in your professional life?
Garon had been working as a government consultant until recently, making the switch to federal employee as an enterprise data architect for USDA. Diane is an author and children’s book producer who focuses on career exploration books for the middle grades through her company, Bright Futures Press.
What made you get involved in the tutoring program at Amidon-Bowen?
Diane saw an ad seeking volunteer tutors in our online neighborhood newsletter and talked Garon into responding. It was alarming to hear that so many students were so far behind in their math and reading skills.
Describe your favorite moment so far from the program.
It was great news to hear that our student’s math scores had improved, and very satisfying to see them grasp tough concepts.
What is one thing you enjoy, appreciate or respect about your students?
It can’t be easy for a child to spend an extra hour being tutored after a long day at school. We really appreciate their willingness to stick with it and do what it takes to master new skills. It was also nice to see the family support that our student had through his mother and siblings.
Why should other SW community members consider joining the program as tutors next year?
It doesn’t take much time or effort to really make a difference in a child’s life. Standardized testing requires students to acquire a great deal of knowledge in a short amount of time. Third grade math is much more complex now than it was when we were that young. We hope that our efforts play at least a small part in preparing our students for success in life.