Valencia volunteers tutor children

By Shaneece Dixon

[email protected]

As many students here in Florida know, the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, or what we know as the FCAT, are administered to students from grades 3 to 11, testing them on skills such as reading comprehension, writing, mathematics, and even science.

To help elementary students prepare for this statewide test, Valencia Volunteers East Campus has organized a tutoring event on campus.  Tutoring services are open to all Orange County students from first grade to sixth grade, taking place in Building 5-112. Starting from Feb.  6, this will continue every Saturday until March 27 from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.

“Any student can help with the tutoring,” said Lynn Lanceshire, a teacher from Laurel Oaks Academy, who tutors students on the side, “if you have the heart and time to come in and help out.”

Among the number of volunteers, many of them represented Valencia Future Educators, a group on campus for students interested in teaching. Though for some it was their first time, others were eager to help a second time around.

“We tutored 2nd graders with reading as well as math,” said Alexis Lemay, a student from Boone High School.

Notifications were sent to all Orange County school principals and assistant principals, hoping to get the word out to parents who were concerned about their child’s progress on FCAT materials. Many of these concerned parents accompanied their kids to last week’s tutoring session. Pedro and Shirley Velazquez brought their son Neil, who’s in the 3rd grade, in hope of getting him better prepared.

“I want him to be familiarized with the FCAT,” said Shirley Velazquez, “He’s so scared and I hope that he can feel comfortable with the test.”

Many other elementary students also feel nervous about their results; especially since students could possibly be held back a grade if they don’t meet the passing requirements.

“Sometimes I get really scared,” said Micaela Buchanan, a fourth grader from Lawton Chiles Elementary, “Because if I don’t pass I won’t get to the next grade.”

Other students have particular difficulties with certain concepts that make them apprehensive about taking the FCAT in the spring. At times, they’ll not only face these difficulties on the test, but in the classroom as well.

“I need help with learning about volume, length, width, and area,” said Dillon Perez, a fifth grader from Stone Lakes Elementary whose favorite subject is math.

Every session starts off with signing in the students and breaking them into groups according to their grade. It consists of a variety of activities, including Arts & Crafts. Last week, students created messages in a bottle to give to their parents for Valentine’s Day.

For anyone interested in bringing in their child for tutoring sessions, no pre-registration is needed. For more information, go to Building 5-212 or contact Olivia Gonzalez.