The young students who came to Cluster Tutoring’s Summer Reading Program found extra help in the form of four teenage assistants. Along with the teachers, the four helped the youngsters with reading and vocabulary. And the aides found that they learned as much as the kids. Two of those assistants are Aliyah and A’meena, two longtime students at Cluster.
Aliyah has spent two summers as a reading program aide. The first summer, she worked with younger students in 3rd and 4th grade. The second summer, she worked with 5th and 6th graders.
“I like working with little kids — it’s fun!” Aliyah said.
Aliyah’s job was to help out in a variety of ways. She listened as students read aloud and she played vocabulary games with kids to help them build up their words. She also made sure students filled out their vocabulary work sheets.
Aliyah is a junior at Prosser Career Academy. While she enjoys working with kids, she said it’s too early to decide on picking an area like teaching as a career. “I’ve got lots of things I want to try out,” she said.
Last summer was A’meena’s first year as a teenage assistant. She said she also had a lot of fun with the students, but she was surprised that she was learning along with them.
“It was a good review,” she said. “I was learning more, refreshing what I knew about vocabulary.”
A’meena said she especially enjoyed helping struggling readers figure out words. “We worked on vowels, consonants, whatever they needed.” A’meena worked with two groups of four to five students each. While the teacher taught one small group, A’meena took the other, making sure they were doing their work. Then they would trade off.
A’meena appreciated the training in orientation sessions before the summer program started. “We got to meet the teachers first and find out what we were going to do.”
A’meena is a sophomore at Christ the King Jesuit College Prep. She likes working with children and is aiming to be a pediatrician.
Both teens have been with their tutors for several years. A’meena has worked with Alex McCleese for three years, and Aliyah has been tutored by Andrew Reed for five years. Both tutors praised the teens as good students.
Aliyah and A’meena both plan to help out again this summer. Besides the fun of working with children, they look forward to their paychecks. Aliyah said she saved most of her salary, while A’meenah said she saved some and spent some on needed supplies for school.
Cluster’s Summer Reading Program offers extra help in reading skills and vocabulary building so students can avoid the “summer slump” where students lose ground in reading. The program is offered to both Cluster students and those outside the tutoring program in grades K-6. It runs for six weeks, two evenings a week, for two hours a night. Sign-ups for this summer’s program will start later in the spring. Parents can check back to this page to register students.