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The Third Presbyterian/Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester Tutoring program at school 35 celebrates its thirteenth anniversary in 2016.  The program has grown from 15 tutors to over 40 servicing one quarter of the student body at school 35. 

The tutoring program is part of the extensive outreach program funded by Third Presbyterian Church (www.Thirdpresbyterian.org).  All our tutors are volunteers and come from all walks of life. We also partner with the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester (www.jewishrochester.org) for literacy tutors. We have doctors, lawyers, accountants, retired teachers, small business owners, retired school superintendents, retired teachers, financial advisors, home makers, musicians with the RPO, the list goes on and on.  


Tutors work with students at school during the school day.  They work on teacher directed materials one-on-one with the student out of the class.  Not only does the student get the individual attention that they may need to better understand their subject matter, but they also forge longstanding bonds with the tutors.  Several tutors have worked with their students from kindergarten through sixth grade.


What does it take to be a tutor?  Patience, kindness, understanding, determination, and commitment.  While the thirty minutes you spend tutoring may not seem like a lot of time to you.  It is a part of a student’s week that many look forward to, so IF you decide to tutor please honor your commitment to the children whose lives you are touching.  


What you should know as a parent about the tutoring program

  1. All our tutors are volunteers. They are paid in smiles, thank-you’s, and the occasional holiday card.  They are all working professionals who take time out of their day to come to School 35 to work with the students.
  2. Teachers refer students to the program in September, placements are made by the beginning of October and tutoring runs from Columbus day week to Memorial day week.  A parent may request that their child be tutored, but if the request does not happen early enough in the school year the chances of getting a tutor are slim. Currently we have a wait list of twenty students.
  3. The student is expected to be polite respectful and diligent in their work.  It is a tremendous opportunity to work with many of the tutors we have. If a child proves unwilling or disrespectful they will be removed from the program.
  4. Some aspects of tutoring, especially MATH, can also be done at home. Many aspects of math facts are timeless.The math fact 2+2=4 was true fifty years ago and will be true fifty years from now. It is the same in English and Spanish.  As a parent you need to practice these math facts with your child.  Also telling time and the value of coins and how to count them are not only key to success in school but in life.
  5. Read to you child.  The simple act of taking ten to fifteen minutes at the end of the day to read to your child will help them in many ways.  It will help young children with basic speech skills; show them the basics of how to read a book; teach them how to communicate; help build a mastery of language; foster logical thinking skills; enhance their ability to concentrate and learn discipline; and they will learn that reading is fun!


I want to help!  

We NEED bilingual tutors who are fluent in both Spanish and English.  One third of the student body at School 35 is Hispanic and of those a handful in each grade level are new to America and speak very little, if any English.  In many cases the public education systems in the previous home country is lacking and these students are no where near grade level in their education.  They NEED your help.  If you are an immigrant or the child of one remember what it was like for you and how someone helped you.  These kids need that same help.

If you are interested in helping tutor students at School 35. 

Please contact Ike Neilson (
Neilson1118@me.com)the tutor coordinator. 








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