Kent State students tutor children from community REVIEWED

Dwayne Yates

Lisbeth Justice pointed to a blue trampoline in her office and said, “This can be used to practice the multiplication tables.”

Justice uses this method and others in a tutoring service her non-profit organization provides at Kent State. She is keeping up the mission of her organization, Love Light Inc., by encouraging disadvantaged youths in their scholastic efforts, a method she is sure will help them in their lives. “Positive reinforcement,” she said. “If the children hear they can do the work, they will be more confident while they are doing it.”

She and nine Kent State students, who volunteer as tutors, work with the children Mondays and Wednesdays for just over an hour a day. Six of the children all attend Walls elementary school in Kent. One travels from Ravenna. Justice hopes to have one-on-one situations between children and tutors this semester.

The kids are there for help with homework, but Betsy wants the program to be more than that.

“It’s attempting to be more than homework help,” she said. “It also looks at the whole development of the child.”

Justice and the tutors use the trampoline to practice counting, adding and even to spell out words. She also has the kids look at vocabulary words on a wall, then twist from left to right while spelling the word to remember it. The children also bounce balls back and forth while spelling words before a third person figures out what it is and yells it.

The program starts out with a nutritious snack that junior intergrative language arts major Lindsey Cox says the children “actually really enjoy.” She has been involved with this program since it began in September 2010. She goes beyond just helping the kids with homework by teaching them excersises, going over food labels and teaching them things that will “improve their lives.”

She said activities like the trampoline help the children really learn their material.

“Their counting has improved,” she said. “They even started counting by tens, which they weren’t able to do before.”

Participating in the program was wise for Cox. She hadn’t had experience in teaching before. “It’s really built my confidence working with these kids and knowing that they’re learning from me.”

She and Justice want the program to grow. They are both looking for more tutors. Email Justice at [email protected] if you are interested in helping.