Blog Archives

Meet our award-winning tutors

Partnership Cert_group

Innovations for Learning has recognized eight organizations for their outstanding support of the TutorMate program.

And it has singled out two tutors for particular recognition:  Tracie Zettler of General Motors as “most dedicated” and Julia Martin of Weyerhaeuser as “most inspirational.”

The annual awards were sent to the recipients on Tuesday.

IFL picked one outstanding organization in each of the cities in which TutorMate operates.

They are:

Miami – Veterans Hospital
Oakland – Farella Braun + Martel
Seattle – Weyerhaeuser
Detroit – Comerica Bank
District of Columbia – Booz Allen Hamilton
New York City – JP Morgan Chase
Chicago – CBRE (CB Richard Ellis)

Tracie Zettler was named “most dedicated” because she tutored twice a week after realizing that her student needed more help. (The standard requirement is to tutor once a week for 30 minutes.) If Zettler ever called and didn’t get an answer, she made sure to reschedule and call back until she got through.

Julia Martin was named “most inspirational” because “the level of detail in Julia’s tutoring feedback each week was amazing,” said Cary Zakon, national director for TutorMate operations.

“Reading them, it was so clear how much she cared about her student and also how much fun she was having with him. It was also clear that she was writing for the teacher’s benefit, too, and sometimes even included a message for her student there.”

The winning organizations were recognized for the following criteria:

  • Outstanding and engaged support from our coordinators
  • Meeting and exceeding tutor recruitment goals
  • High participation rates in the end-of-year tutor/student meet-ups
  • High levels of tutor persistence and dedication
  • Notable atmosphere of collaboration within your tutoring team(s)

In reply, we’ve heard from some grateful and enthusiastic recipients:

Tracie Zettler, General Motors, Detroit, “Most Dedicated”: “I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed tutoring this year. I was terribly disappointed that I could not be at the ‘meet your student’ day but I received a card that my student (Daniel) made me and it brought tears to my eyes and a huge smile to my face. This was such a rewarding experience; knowing that I made a difference in this little boy’s life means so much to me.

“I was so shocked by my award today! When it came up on the screen, my eyes were as big as lunch plates! Thank you so much for that; I am going to print it and hang it in my cube next to the newspaper article of Daniel and I tutoring.” 

Julia Martin, Weyerhaeuser, Seattle, “Most Inspirational”: “I’m very honored. And I was very fortunate in my assignment. The kids were highly engaged and the teacher (Cate Simmers with Arbor Heights) highly supportive. AND I didn’t have to deal with ‘yellers’ in the background at all which made my job really, really easy!!

“I’m really looking forward to next year!! (2013-14 that is!!)”

Joan Ai, Employee Engagement & Volunteerism, Global Philanthropy, JPMorgan Chase & Co.:  “Thanks Cary, for your kind message and the award.  The recognition is not necessary as we are glad that we were able to participate in such a meaningful program to benefit the children in your program.”

Stephanie Beck, Human Resources Manager, CBRE:  “Again, thank you.  We all loved the experience with the kids.  Thank you so much for the recognition.

Lori Hulvey, Asset Quality Review, Comerica:  “Thank you so much, Cary … this is so exciting!! Can’t wait to display this in the office.

Karen VeitenhansManager, Community Investment & Weyerhaeuser Giving Fund:  “Hi Cary.  I just wanted to weigh in and thank you …  This is a such an innovative idea and great opportunity for our employes to have a significant impact on student achievement.  We’ve been pleased with the positive feedback our employees have provided, and look forward to growing this effort.  Thank you again for approaching Weyerhaeuser and providing us with the opportunity to engage our employees!”

Tutors, kids benefit in Detroit

bilde

The Detroit News tells how a tutor, working at her desk at General Motors, is helping a second-grader learn to read.

The two are 20 miles apart, but connected by headphones and laptop computers.  Software from Innovations for Learning’s TutorMate program is making the session possible.

Seven-year-old Daniel Estrella-Rodriguez “meets” twice a week with Tracie Zettler, of GM. She’s one of 120 volunteers working with IFL in the Detroit

Former Detroit News logo

Former Detroit News logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

area.

The twice-weekly tutoring has improved the 7-year-old’s ability to read — from 14 to 35 words a minute. It also has benefited Zettler, who has donated her time to other causes such as Habitat for Humanity and the Special Olympics.

“I love to help people and I love to volunteer,” said Zettler, a logistics planner at GM. “I have butterflies when we talk. I feel like I want to hug him. And he tries so hard.”

Daniel, a quiet boy with brown hair and an easy smile, said, “Miss Tracie helps me sound out a word if I don’t know it” and she “tells me that I’m good and that I’m paying attention.”

At GM, the program is so popular there’s a waiting list for would-be tutors.

The second-grader’s teacher tells the News’ Jennifer Chambers that the 30-minute tutoring sessions, which began in October, have helped him beyond improving his ability to read.

“I’ve seen an increase in his self-esteem,” said teacher Cecelia Ly. “They get special time with someone who cares about them. It makes them feel special.”

Read the whole story here.

photo: The Detroit News  

IFL recruiting hits 1,000-tutor mark

IFL recruiters marked a milestone this week: 1,000 tutors lined up since Labor Day.

This means that at least a thousand kids will be getting extra one-on-one help in reading this school year. “And we’re hoping to get to 2,000 by February,” said Dan Weisberg, IFL’s national director for corporate alliances.

Innovation for Learning’s TutorMate program taps employees of corporations and other large workplaces, asking them to spend a half-hour a week to communicate, via phone and computer screen, with young students in classrooms.

The goal is to bring literacy to underserved children.

With an expanded recruiting effort, tutors have been lined up in Washington, D.C., Chicago, Miami, Detroit, New York, Seattle, Oakland, Sacramento and Denver, Weisberg said.

After taking part in a webinar for training, they’ll start working with students beginning in Oct 29.

The variety of organizations taking part for the first time is widening fast. A partial list includes the Janus Funds, Mizuho Bank, Costco, General Motors, Starbucks, the American Psychological Association, the National Institutes of Health, United Airlines, RR. Donnelley Co., the Miami Veterans Administration Hospital, the Miami Marlins, Weyerhaeuser, the insurance companies MetLife, PEMCO and Symetra, Weyerhauser, Booz Allen Hamilton consultants, the law firms Perkins Coie, Farella Braun + Martel LLP and Davis Wright Tremaine, and U.S. courts for the D.C. Circuit.

They join such longtime supporters of the program as Chase Bank, Accenture, AT&T, Microsoft, Comerica Bank, comScore, Morningstar, and Nielsen, among plenty of others.

Interested? Contact IFL at sales@innovationsforlearning.org

(Photo: IFL)

%d bloggers like this: