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Smart Sprouts

YWCA SMART SPROUTS IS A FREE AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAM DESIGNED TO HELP ELEMENTARY-AGE CHILDREN DEVELOP LIFE SKILLS AND IMPROVE THEIR ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE.

Tutors focus on encouraging students to improve scholastically, especially in reading and math, while developing safe relationships with adult volunteers.

Our tutors are highly qualified teachers, professionals, or college students. They may be retired, partially retired, graduate students, or older undergraduates, many of whom are education majors. All tutors are trained and supported by YWCA McLean County.

Tutors develop an on-going relationship with a student and are able to tailor their approach to the individual needs of a student. Research continues to demonstrate the effectiveness of one-on-one attention in moving a child forward with education goals.


TUTORING SESSIONS

Smart Sprouts tutoring sessions are offered in various locations. Sessions will always be offered at YWCA Young Wonders Before and After School sites in McLean County, but other sites may be available. When and where tutoring takes place depends on availability, skills, interests, and needs of students.

Tutoring sessions are scheduled during lunchtime or between 3-6 p.m.

Throughout the year, the YWCA Smart Sprouts office keeps in contact with tutors and responds to their requests for support. Together, they keep track of the work being done and share stories about challenges and successes. Students, tutors, and staff learn and grow year round.


SCHEDULE A SMART SPROUTS TUTOR OR BECOME A VOLUNTEER

When your child is ready to get started with YWCA Smart Sprouts or if you're interested in volunteering, please contact the Smart Sprouts facilitator or call us (309) 662-7826.


VOLUNTEERING WITH SMART SPROUTS

If you are interested in volunteering to be a Smart Sprouts tutor, the year kicks off mid-October with a training workshop. At the workshop, potential tutors:

  • Explore the connection between creativity and good tutoring.
  • Gain teaching resources for tutors.
  • Learn details about tutoring sites and their students.
  • Learn how teachers, parents, and after-school staff connect students with tutors.


TUTOR QUALIFICATIONS

Tutors must be 16 years or older, have great reading skills, and love to teach. The best tutors know students grow when they are there to provide support. They understand our whole community benefits when our children learn to push past what holds them back. Our tutors find creative ways to combine their talents with a student's needs.

Tutors contribute one to four hours each week while school is in session. Breaks can be scheduled to accommodate personal needs that call them away from the program.

“Being a Smart Sprouts tutor is very rewarding, I love the look in a child’s eyes when they meet their goal.”