Starting in late September, Cluster Tutoring will be offered three evenings a week at three separate locations. And unlike the 2020-21 school year, tutoring will be in person at all three spaces.
Cluster is adding a Monday night tutoring option at Fair Oaks Presbyterian Church in Oak Park. Fair Oaks, at 744 Fair Oaks Ave. in Oak Park, on the corner of Fair Oaks Avenue and Thomas Street, joins the Tuesday night venue in the Circle Urban Ministries Building at 118 N. Central Ave. in Chicago and the Thursday night venue of First United Church of Oak Park at 848 Lake St. Tutoring will still be 6:30-8 p.m. on all three nights. Tutoring will begin at all three sites the week of Sept. 27.
Fair Oaks is one of the several churches in Oak Park that helped found Cluster Tutoring in 1990 and has supported it ever since, both financially and with church members who have served as long-term tutors.
“For a number of years, we have been looking for ways to make our building available to serve the community, and when our Mission Committee learned that Cluster Tutoring was looking for a space for students to receive support on Monday nights, we knew Fair Oaks could be that space,” said the Rev. Hailey Braden Lynch, co-pastor of Fair Oaks along with her husband, the Rev. Ben Lynch. “We want our church to be a place that builds up the community.”
Having a third night of tutoring allows Cluster to limit the number of tutors and students on any evening. And as Thursday has always been the night with the most students, new tutors and new students have the option of joining on Monday or Tuesday nights.
Given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Cluster tutors, students, and parents must follow the following health and safety guidelines:
- Masks must be worn at all times.
- The number of people in any room is limited.
- Any tutor or student who is ill should stay home and not come to tutoring.
- Although students and tutors can sit next to each other for studying, both should avoid unnecessary contact. Virtual tutoring, as all students and tutors did online for the 2020-21 school year, will still be an option, but only for returning students and tutors. Cluster Executive Director Kara Kalnitz suggests that it be used only if one party can’t make it to tutoring in person.
- When picking up students at the end of tutoring, parents should wait outside rather than come into any of the buildings, to avoid forming too big a crowd in an enclosed space.
New tutor orientation. Those looking to be new volunteer tutors are invited to a new tutor orientation session at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 16, at First United Church.
Returning tutors. Orientation for returning tutors will be over Zoom at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 14.
Returning students. Returning students and families should plan on attending an orientation session over Zoom at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 31.
New students. Cluster is always looking for ways to serve more students. There will be upcoming in-person registration for new students on Monday, Oct. 4, at Fair Oaks, and Thursday, Oct. 7, at First United. Both registration sessions will be at 6:30 p.m.
Tutoring start dates. The first nights of tutoring are Monday, Sept. 27; Tuesday, Sept. 28; and Thursday, Sept. 30, all at 6:30 p.m.
For more information, email [email protected].