A (not so) new twist on tutoring

An Education Week blog post caught my eye today on an intergenerational tutoring program launched in East Harlem.  The program is as it sounds – a partnership of organizations that recruit and train older community members to tutor children on a weekly basis.  It reminds me of a couple of things.  First, a story Sir Ken Robinson shared during his SOTF keynote where he described how an elementary school shared a physical space with a retirement home.  The school leadership team saw an opportunity to fulfill both parties – children and elders.  Retirement home residents started reading to the children and the results were powerful.  Students’ reading achievement increased and the elders’ health and quality of life improved.  A brilliant model.  It also makes me think of our Hawaiian cultural values, particularly the role of kupuna as mentors and teachers.  While I’m sure this mentoring is happening informally in homes, in gardens, at the beach, where can it be found in classrooms?  I did a quick search and couldn’t find any formal intergenerational programs in classrooms on Oahu.  If you know of any, please email me at lwoo@iaak.net.  I think it would be a wonderful tradition to formally root in our schools.

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