THE MISSION OF CLUSTER TUTORING is to help students realize their potential through the power of learning in an environment that strengthens the student, the tutor, and the community.
Cluster Tutoring is a nonprofit, community-based organization that provides free one-to-one tutoring to more than 100 students primarily in the Austin neighborhood of Chicago’s West Side. The program was founded in 1990 by a ‘cluster’ of local churches and community groups in response to the disturbing statistic that less than half of Chicago Public School students graduate from high school. Each tutor is matched with a student, and the tutor-student pair works together during the school year to prepare the student for a successful academic career.
Students and tutors work together during the school year on either Tuesday or Thursday evenings from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. The program has a focus on literacy. Elementary school students spend 30 to 60 minutes of their tutoring session on the program’s Structured Reading Project and the remainder of the evening on homework or other enrichment activities. The Structured Reading Project includes Ready Readers, a special curriculum for emerging readers in grades K-3. High school students generally spend all of their time on homework.
Activities that may be offered during the tutoring session include a college access program, math games, a student newsletter published twice a year, and a variety of activities on the program’s computers, which have Internet access. Each session begins with a healthy snack for students, usually a granola bar and milk.