Berkeleyan: A newspaper for faculty and staff at UC Berkeley
Berkeleyan Home Search Berkeleyan Berkeleyan Archive UCB News UCB Calendar

 Berkeley Pledge Special:

Tutoring First-Graders Changes Jamison’s Life

posted June 16, 1998

Berkeley freshman Gionna Jamison needed a job. She wound up on a mission.

“I am on work study, so I needed to work,” says Jamison, an undeclared major. “I’ve always liked kids so I thought tutoring would be fun. It has been, but the experience has also opened a new world for me.”

Jamison spends eight hours a week at Hoover Elementary School in West Oakland, tutoring first-graders in reading and math through the Reading Through Science and Technology Program.

She says the experience has taught her more than effective pedagogy. “I’ve learned a lot about the lives of some students,” she says. “When I was growing up, I didn’t have to face the kinds of problems some of these kids do.”

“These tutors are giving these kids what most of them don’t get at home,” says Marie-Eve Thomaes, a first-grade teacher at Hoover. “These tutors help fill that gap.”

As part of the program, Hoover first- graders are learning about weather patterns by exchanging email with first-grade students in Massachusetts. Says Thomaes: “At first, the emails were just one sentence, but the length of the correspondence – as well as the students – have really grown through this program.”

[ Back to top ]

UCB Home
Copyright 1998, The Regents of the University of California.
Produced and maintained by the Office of Public Affairs at UC Berkeley.
Comments? E-mail