- Princeton ISD
Southard NJHS offers peer tutoring
Members of the National Jr. Honor Society at Southard will get the opportunity to develop their leadership skills while earning community service hours.
The tutoring project was started at the school last year by NJHS advisers Dina D’Onofrio and Khara Barnard, who decided to continue it.
“This is a great opportunity for their leadership to be tangible, not only to the students, but to the staff members as well,” Ms. Barnard said. “They are forming family ties within the district and that’s a beautiful thing.”
Southard teachers allow students from NJHS to assist their fellow classmates as peer tutors during the classroom teacher’s regular tutoring time.
“We found that this experience for our kiddos was a success, so we wanted to extend the opportunity this year as well,” Ms. D’Onofrio said.
Recently, the NJHS advisers reached out to the staff to see who was willing to host a peer tutor as an assistant.
"The NJHS tutoring project can help Southard by giving students a more grounded way of learning, allowing them to socialize with fellow students and to learn from them," said Southard 8th-grader Max Pagano.
NJHS students say they are excited about the program and emphasize its benefits.
“I hope they think it’s cool to have other students helping them, and it gives them something to look forward to when they are in 8th grade,” said Olivia Collins, who is an 8th-grade member of NJHS. “I want to encourage them to try their best so they can help other kids like I did for them.”
According to Ms. D’Onofrio, the National Junior Honor Society students are required to complete at least 12 hours of community/school service each semester.
“Tutoring can be an exceptional learning experience for them, but also gives them an opportunity to earn those service hours,” she said.
Another goal for the chapter is for students to build and refine their leadership skills.
“I feel like this is a good idea because it gives us more opportunities to work on our social skills, and we can help others out, which helps us to grow up and become better people,” NJHS member Kannon Cook said. “It also gives us an opportunity to represent our school in a good way.”
Quoting Martin Luther King Jr., he said, “Everybody can be great because everybody can serve.”
Peer tutors say they have a unique advantage during the tutoring process.
“The people providing the help to students are close in age and have a similar perspective,” said NJHS officer Lindsey McIntyre. “This helps because the tutor could better understand what they are struggling with because they have recently gone through the learning process themselves. Being able to help fellow students will hopefully make the teacher’s job easier and less stressful.”