We need to go back—perhaps waaay back—and figure out where a student didn’t fully grasp a key concept, do what it takes to help him or her fill in that gap, all the while ensuring the child is caught up in day-to-day homework. How do you help someone learn division when the student barely knows how to add? How do you guide someone in preparing cue cards for a book talk if the person has no idea how to spell? No matter how difficult, the work is incredibly satisfying. When you see that light bulb go on in a child’s mind, it brightens the entire room . . . and your day, long after you leave the room.
— Elizabeth Cummings, Teacher Master of Arts in Teaching, English Education, The University of Iowa Bachelor of Arts, Philosophy and English, Iowa State University Math, science,and Spanish coursework, Kirkwood Community College
My name is Tasnia and I am studying Human Physiology/pre-med at the University of Iowa. I have been a volunteer at Strive for Success for two semesters now. I am an active volunteer at several other organizations such as Hope Lodge, Mobile Clinic, and the UIHC, but Strive for Success is by far my favorite place to volunteer. As a person who had little knowledge about elementary aged kids prior to being a volunteer at this program , this experience has helped me realize my passion for helping children. I believe all children have the right to a fulfilling education and contributing to this cause as a volunteer is one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had. The one on one interaction I have with these children and the potential I see in them every time I help them learn, has made this a worthwhile experience for me. I always look forward to seeing the smiles on their faces and helping them further their knowledge and learning.
— Tasnia Iqbal Volunteer Tutor
My name is Sophie and I am a senior at the University of Iowa studying Cinematic Arts and Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies, as well as earning a certificate in Critical Cultural Competence. I have been volunteering at Strive for Success since January 2015, and even in such a short time period I’ve noticed the incredible impact SFS has had on students, not only by improving grades and test scores, but also by fostering an enthusiasm for learning. It is a wonderful feeling to be involved in a program so obviously invested in the future of Iowa City’s children.
— Sophia Seaburg Volunteer Tutor
This program helps me to finish my homework and to complete other projects such as my book talk. I like the program because sometimes my mom or dad don’t have time to help me with my homework, but the program helps me and makes sure I understand my homework. This program helps me learn things like language arts and math. It also helps me learn how to be a good person and to improve my behavior through the bible study lessons.
— Student D.
I like this program because I get help with my math and spelling homework. The teachers are so nice and they help me get better grades. I also get extra time to do homework and more time to read. I am proud to be a part of this program because it helps me feel more prepared for school the next day.
— Student H.
Being a part of this program helps me feel like a smarter person. In the beginning of the year I was scoring only 50%, 60%, and 70% on my tests. I am now scoring 80%, 90%, and 100% on my tests. I enjoy Wednesdays because we get to go outside and play sometimes and I enjoy the Bible study and the small dinner. I also enjoy the healthy snacks that are provided each day before the program begins.
— Student J.
The Strive For Success after school program has been very beneficial for my son. His grades have improved and he has a better understanding of his subjects. His homework is always done and turned in on time. My son is always looking forward to going to class and learning, which makes me believe that the program is helping him with his academic struggles. He enjoys the program and participating in the activities, especially Lego league. Thank you for all your help and for giving my son the opportunity to be involved in this program.
— Ubaldina Marcelino-Cabanas Parent
My daughter is currently starting her second year with the Strive For Success program. This year I have seen a change in my child’s academic performance. She seems more interested in her school work. Strive For Success is a good afterschool program, and this year the lead teacher has worked diligently by helping my child learn different ways to help her with her spelling test. The lead teacher takes her spelling list and puts the words into stories which has helped my daughter to earn 90-100% on her spelling tests each week. This program benefits my child because she has always struggled with school assignments including reading, math, and spelling. Thanks to the program my daughter has made significant gains in all three subject areas. Having my daughter attend this program has boosted her self-esteem and she is now more confident in her reading, math, and spelling. I would like to thank the teacher and tutors for taking the time and patience to help my daughter make improvements in her academics. Thanks to the program, we are seeing awesome improvements in my daughters school work.
— Thanks Anna Fredieu