The Whiz Kids are Back!

Gee-whiz, these kids are great! Today, I’m going to talk to you about one of our favorite programs here at AMF – Whiz Kids.

Whiz Kids is a program that was started by City Gospel Mission, to provide at-risk students in the area with tutoring and mentoring sessions at local Cincinnati schools. The Foundation has partnered with the City Gospel Mission for over 9 years (since 2009) as a site host at Roberts Paideia Academy, in the Price Hill Neighborhood.

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Devon Cook, an AMF scholarship winner, works with a young student on reading comprehension.

Every school year, 20 students are paired with AMF volunteer tutors, with the students ranging from kindergartners to 6th grade students. Each pair (tutor and student), meet every Wednesday afternoon. They work on developing basic reading skills and comprehension and learning good faith and character components. At the end of the tutoring session, the Whiz Kids then participate in a group activity. In the past, this has been focused on a theme, such as decorating cookies for Christmas.

For our students who aged out of Whiz Kids, we started Unplugged, a group focused on older students (typically 7th – 8th grade girls). Aligning with Cincinnati Public School initiatives, AMF works with these students weekly on social and emotional learning activities, high school preparation, career exploration and academic assistance. For example, some of our Unplugged students visited the University of Cincinnati, to explore a college campus.

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Some of our Unplugged students visiting UC in 2016.

Ready to sign up to tutor? We’re ready for you, all you have to do is follow the link here to sign up. Note, tutors must be at least age 16 and will receive all training necessary by the Foundation and City Gospel Mission.

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Detria, a former AMF intern, working with a Whiz Kid on the first day in 2017.

Thanks for checking in this week, we can’t wait to hear more about what our Whiz Kids are doing as the year progresses. Tune in next week for a blog talking about our speakers for our Youth Leadership Seminar in October!

Cheers,

Maddie
Events Intern

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Seeing the Impact First-Hand

The Anthony Muñoz Foundation’s (AMF) mission is to impact the lives of Tri-State area youth mentally, physically, and spiritually and I have been fortunate enough to watch this happen first hand.  I started working at the Foundation last fall and I have the privilege of interning this spring as well.  I have been able to gain real world experience, but more importantly I have been able to see the impact AMF has on lives.

The Foundation runs a tutoring program called Whiz Kids that works with students to help enrich their reading abilities.  Seeing them grow in their reading capabilities was incredible to watch.  I was also fortunate enough to be a tutor for one of the students and working with her every week was always a highlight. To see her grin from ear to ear from understanding a word she had been struggling with was all I needed to want to come back each week.  Without the Foundation I would not have been a Whiz Kids tutor or known how much positive impact these students were receiving with AMF’s help.  To learn more about Whiz Kids and see how you can get involved check out last week’s blog post.

Not only is the Anthony Muñoz Foundation helping students through tutoring, but also with their Youth Leadership Seminar and different camps.  The Youth Leadership Seminar brings together local high school students to give them the tools they need to positively impact their communities.  I was able to see students come up with projects that would better their school, their peers, and their neighbors.  The Foundation realizes the importance of the youth and helps them understand the positive effect they can have on other people.  AMF is also able to use the game of football as a character building tool.  Not only are middle school boys able to learn football skills, but they also learn about the character traits that can help them succeed in life.  I had helped with events centered about sports, but the dedication to character that is rooted in every event the Foundation runs is something I had not seen before.

To be able to intern at the Anthony Muñoz Foundation has been an incredible experience that I am glad is not over yet.  I know that the moments of seeing Tri-State youth smile from learning a new word, realize how much of an impact they can have, and implementing positive character traits in their own lives will stay with me long after I am done interning.  I cannot wait to see what is in store for the spring and be able to share with you the impact the Foundation will have on lives!

 

Kristin Shaffer
Football Programs Intern

What’s up with Whiz Kids

AMF’s Whiz Kids tutoring program is back in full-swing after a slow, snow day start in January. We are working hard to craft an appropriately challenging curriculum for our students in kindergarten through eighth grade at Roberts Paideia Academy, as each student fine-tunes their reading and comprehension skills.

Whiz Kids is a program tailored towards at-risk students of Latin-American heritage. The program itself is directed by City Gospel Mission and serves over 1,300 students at 66 schools in the Greater Cincinnati area. Each Wednesday afternoon, our students read a short book at their own personal level, complete guided learning activities or handouts with a personal tutor, and participate in a whole group activity.

This week’s group activity is themed around Valentine’s Day, as our students will be participating in a relay race, candy heart stacking contest, and a marshmallow toss, just to name a few. Other holiday-themed group days we are anticipating include St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, and Whiz Kids Graduation.

Interns at AMF keep record of each student’s progress and assure that they are reading a wide variety of books within their designated reading level. Tutors are very important to this process, as they spend time evaluating their assigned student’s progress each week. By leaving detailed notes about their assigned student’s progress, the tutors make our job at AMF much easier when we begin to assess each individual’s reading level, and whether or not they are prepared to read more difficult stories.

Tutoring through Whiz Kids is a great way to volunteer in the community by giving back to students and helping them reach educational goals outside of the regularly scheduled school day. At Roberts, we have tutors in high school, college, and even adult tutors that have full-time jobs!

Are you interested in becoming a Whiz Kids tutor at Roberts Paideia Academy? You can register on City Gospel Mission’s website (select Roberts specifically) and if accepted, you will receive confirmation via email.

 

Mallory Condron

Events Intern

What’s new with the “Whiz Kids”?

       Whiz Kid Wednesdays

       Every Wednesday throughout the school year, AMF Staff, friends of the foundation and volunteers gather at Roberts Paideia Academy in the heart of Price Hill to tutor 27 young students ranging from Kindergarten to 5th grade. Whiz Kids, a literacy-focused, one-on-one tutoring and mentoring program founded by City Gospel Mission, provides tutors for over 1,250 at-risk students in 64 different schools throughout the Greater Cincinnati Area. Because of the tremendous impact it offers, the average Whiz Kid student advances 3 reading levels each school year; a huge accomplishment for many of our students who live in non-English speaking households and consider English their second language. Countless churches, charities and organizations adopt a public elementary school in the area, and work closely with teachers and administrators to identify and select students who could benefit most from the program and create helpful activities and curriculum. Many tutors have been involved for years, developing positive friendships with their student in hopes of improving their academic performance, reading skills and instilling personal and academic confidence in them. Many of these young, impressionable children come to form very close and meaningful bonds with their tutors, confiding in them and looking to them as a positive role model and example.

When the dismissal bell rings just before 4 p.m., 27 tutors wait anxiously as the stampede of excited students race down the hallway beaming with smiles from ear to ear eager to learn, read and spend time with their tutor. Depending on where the week falls, AMF includes cultural and holiday themes from Christmas gift bags in December, Valentine’s Day cupcakes, goodie bags and crafts in February, a St. Patrick’s Day Party in March, and Easter Egg Hunt in April! This program not only impacts the students who achieve monumental improvements, but the adults granted the opportunity to share in the joy and accomplishments of these passionate children. Each week, as we pack up and head home, we are grateful that it is in fact we who learn so much about life through the courage and work ethic of these young, eager minds and are continually moved by the enthusiasm of this inspiring group of students.

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