Volunteer Tutorial Program
The Mathews-Dickey Volunteer Tutorial Program (originally titled "Stamp Out Illiteracy Through Learning") was initiated in 1986 in response to the late St. Louis Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Jerome Jones' minimum 2.5 GPA extra-curricular mandate. In its fledgling stages, The National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa Inc. Alpha NuChapter and the NFL Cardinals, led by E.J. Junior, lent their expertise as the first tutors. Country Day alumnus Donald Danforth and John Burroughs alumnus Jeff Schwartz joined forces to launch a growth spurt with their tutor recruitment drive at their alma maters. Danforth, who later became the Club's director and vice president of education, was challenged by Club President, CEO & Co-Founder Martin Luther Mathews to found City Academy. Now open to all area districts, the Volunteer Program has assisted more than 5,000 students with math, reading and language arts skills since its inception. Our lab was renovated by the Zonta Club of St. Louis in 2006 and KPMG installed a library to commemorate the fallen heroes of September 11 on its 10th anniversary.
METHOD:The free one-on-one tutoring targets youngsters in grades kindergarten through eighth, in their formative years. After initially operating weeknights, the sessions have expanded to two hours on Saturdays to better accommodate the changing work schedules for parents and tutors. All participants must maintain their $25 annual membership in good standing.
Tutors (a.k.a. "study buddies") are recruited from business/civic organizations, corporations, sororities/fraternities and universities, often serving as role models and mentors.
STUDENTS: Students who need homework help, remedial assistance and motivation/guidance are referred by their teachers, coaches and parents. Parents are strongly encouraged to be actively involved and abide by the program guidelines.
WHY: The program was founded to stem the tide of illiteracy - a fast-growing, widespread dilemma. There are millions of Americans who cannot read the warnings on a can of pesticide, a note from their child's teacher or the front page of a newspaper.
There are two sessions every Saturday from 10 a.m. to Noon and Noon to 2 p.m.
The Club believes that "academics and athletics can and should co-exist." To that end, the program meets the needs of St. Louis area youth, instilling in them the "Three R's: Respect, Restraint and Responsibility." Mathews-Dickey is dedicated to giving youth a chance for the future through various educational and enrichment programs.
For more information contact Barbara Washington at (314) 382-5952, ext. 234, or Jacques Fransaw at (314) 382-5952, ext. 252.
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Mathews-Dickey Boys' & Girls' Club is a nonprofit 501 (c) (3) United Way member agency that annually provides educational, athletic and cultural enrichment programs to more than 40,000 young people from throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area. For 52 years the Club has taught youth respect, restraint and responsibility so that they may obtain credibility, integrity and accountability. For more information, call Barbara A. Washington or Bill Fronczak at (314) 382-5952, ext. 234.