Posts by EnglishTutor

English Tutoring Project expands with mentors in high school

Posted by on Mar 9, 2020 in News |

Pilot program at Notre Dame High School instills confidence by Joseph Kenny, March 6, 2020 published in St. Louis Review Sister Paulette Zimmerman, SSND, and Juliana Gervacio accomplished a lot in 45 minutes.   Sister Paulette encouraged Juliana, looking over some of her work and discussing her vocabulary, an upcoming ACT prep course, her schedule, organizational skills and more. Sister Paulette mentors the Notre Dame High School freshman in an outgrowth of the English Tutoring Project in nine Catholic grade schools.   The program began at Notre Dame in September, and it may be expanded to other high schools in the archdiocese that have students who are English language learners. Notre Dame has a number of students who are English language learners, including former English Tutoring Project students.   “The goal for the program from its inception is to make a one-on-one connection between a student and an adult academic mentor,” said Sister Kathleen Koenen, SSND. “The relationship hopefully will grow and develop over the four years of school.”   Students and volunteer mentors meet one or two times a month at the school.   Sister Kathleen explained that the visit is intended to “just converse, get to know each other and to assist in answering the question, ‘What do I need to succeed in school and what can I do to fill that need?’ The English Tutoring Project hope is to encourage the student in becoming their very best. Setting goals and reaching them academically and socially as well. One more adult caring for you is never a bad thing.”   Mentors are not full-time tutors, though they may review assignments since it may take years to understand and know academic language. “It fills what we observed as a need for high school students who were multilingual,” Sister Kathleen said.   For the initial year, four students are part of the program along with four mentors. Two other students started in the program but improved enough to no longer need the support. Cheri Dunn, academic support coordinator at Notre Dame, coordinates schedules.   Dunn said many of the students come from homes where English is not the primary language and who will be the first from their family to go to college. Mentors help them navigate that path. “The purpose is to help the girls understand their potential, encourage them, give them confidence, open their eyes to the possibilities they have in the future,” she said.   They help the girls develop and achieve goals. “We were excited to partner with them because it fits with Notre Dame’s mission to educate confident, compassionate Christian leaders,” Dunn said.   Sister Paulette also tutors at South City Catholic Academy with the English Tutoring Project. “This is fun, just to see the kids develop. It’s exciting to see the growing maturity and confidence,” she said.   Notre Dame provides a nurturing environment with much support, Sister Paulette said. “There’s always value to a student knowing there’s someone else believing in them....

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Videos About ETP

Posted by on Aug 29, 2018 in News |

Video Testimonials from our Partner Schools Jackie Voelkl, Principal from School Sisters of Notre Dame, CP on Vimeo. Sister Sarah Heger, CSJ, Principal from School Sisters of Notre Dame, CP on Vimeo. Dr. Pete Schroeder, Principal from School Sisters of Notre Dame, CP on Vimeo. Mary Loux, Principal from School Sisters of Notre Dame, CP on Vimeo. Michel Wendell, Principal from School Sisters of Notre Dame, CP on...

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Women religious fill unmet need in Catholic schools: English Tutoring Project helps immigrant, refugee children

Posted by on Jul 31, 2018 in News |

Women religious fill unmet need in Catholic schools: English Tutoring Project helps immigrant, refugee children

Article from St. Louis Review June 11-17, 2018 by Joseph Kenny First-grader Helen Kim held a card and prepared for her turn in the game of modified Go Fish she was playing with fellow students. She asked if the other had a card with a word that was the antonym of “wide.” Seeing no response, Sister Joan Stoverink, ASC, defined the word “wide” so one of the students at the table could find the opposite. She extended her arms and said that wide “is a tough one; it means ‘spread out.’” Just then, a student sprung to his feet and shouted out the antonym, “narrow.” Four students at St. Stephen Protomartyr School in south St. Louis came together to play the game as part of their participation in the English Tutoring Project, which is completing its 20th year of helping immigrant and refugee students in Catholic schools acquire English language skills. It’s an initiative of the St. Louis Area Women Religious Collaborative Ministries. Helen said that the tutoring helps her with one of her favorite activities, writing. She displayed a story she wrote earlier this school year, “Making a Snowman Friend.” Joseph Thang, a third-grader at St. Stephen who came to America as a refugee at age 1, took part in the program as a kindergartner and first-grader and now is a graduate, having mastered English skills. “I liked game day,” he said with a smile, adding that the program was especially important in helping him understand instructions that were given in his classroom. St. Stephen parishioner Hou Khan Nuam has a kindergartner, David, and first-grader, Michael, in the program. “I appreciate this project,” she said. “They gain confidence, get extra practice and gain the same understanding of English as other students in the class. They also learn about and appreciate a new culture.” Her children learn proper pronunciation, one of the biggest adjustments to make in learning the language, she said. She and her husband speak Zomi, a language originating in northwestern Burma (now Myanmar). The older of her two children in the program was shy at school, but with the confidence he gained from the tutor, he now raises his hand in class and asks questions. Pau Mung, Helen’s father and a member of St. Pius V Parish in south St. Louis, said the family speaks Burmese at home. His daughter now speaks a lot of English and corrects his broken English, he said with a laugh, giving the example of his mispronunciation of the word “apple.” The program allows St. Stephen School to add diversity by serving immigrants and refugees. “We learn about other cultures, their history and that we can all get along in a rich, inclusive environment that makes us better,” said Michel Wendell, principal of St. Stephen. “And it’s great to have a religious sister teaching in our building.” The women religious who founded the program 20 years ago looked for an unmet educational need and focused on students in Catholic schools who...

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Sr. Kathleen Koenen on The Marc Cox Morning Show

Posted by on Jul 31, 2018 in News |

Sr. Kathleen Koenen recently talked about The English Tutoring Project with Tim Jones on The Marc Cox Morning Show FM News 97.1. CLICK HERE  

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ETP Tutor Participates in Literacy in St. Louis Panel

Posted by on Feb 25, 2018 in News |

ETP Tutor Participates in Literacy in St. Louis Panel

English Tutoring Projects strives to connect and partner with others who are working for strong community building to assist others in need. As part of this goal, one of our tutors, Sister Joan Stoverink, recently participated in Literacy in St. Louis: A Panel with the Experts. “On behalf of Mortar Board, I wanted to reach out and thank you both again for helping us host a wonderful panel event to kick off our literacy awareness week last evening. Sr. Stoverink, we were all so touched and impressed by all the wisdom and advice you gave us in regards to promoting literacy in our everyday lives, so thank you from the bottom of our hearts. And Sr. Koenen, thank you so much for connecting us with Sr. Stoverink, as we would not have had the opportunity to have her on the panel without your help. I am so impressed by how much ETP has grown since the first time I met Sr. Koenen, and I have no doubt that it’ll only continue to grow under your leadership. The students are so lucky to have you in their lives.” (Erin Kim, February 12, 2018) Erin Kim (Washington University, Olin School of Business, St. Louis, MO) Member of Team of 5 Students from the School of Business who assisted ETP Feasibility Study through the Taylor Community Grant from Wash U in Spring...

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