Jolie’s Story

A Helping Hand for the Classroom: Jolie’s Story

When six-year-old Jolie began first grade, her teachers noticed that she struggled with reading, math and homework. She quickly began to fall behind in her work and had difficulties keeping up with her classmates. Jolie eventually stopped finishing her assignments regularly and showed little interest in improving. Her teachers began to consider assigning her to summer school or even to repeat first grade.

Hoping to get her back on track, Jolie’s parents signed her up for the after-school program at INMED’s Opportunity Center. Through this program, Jolie received individualized tutoring and assistance with her homework from a caring teen mentor. Despite Jolie’s original learning challenges, she was able to improve her academic skills, as well as her attitude toward school, with the help of her mentor.

These individual improvements can add up to a larger projection of future success, according to Maria Elena Vasquez-Alvarez, executive director of INMED’s Opportunity Center.

“We have observed encouraging progress among several students, many of whom were performing below grade level at entry.”

 
“What we are doing is going to help these kids and their families in the long run,” she said, “to be more self-sufficient and more aware of how things work in academics and in the job market. We have observed encouraging progress among several students, many of whom were performing below grade level at entry.”

As Jolie’s second semester progressed, she handed in completed homework regularly and gradually caught up to the rest of her classmates, including in both her reading and math levels. In fact, she had “made a year’s worth of growth in reading,” according to her teacher.

“Jolie has made significant gains in all areas of her education and we are extremely proud of her,” INMED’s after-school program manager said.

Jolie is now reading at grade level, is no longer being considered for retention, and can look forward to starting second grade— after summer break of course.

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