Athletic tutoring offers free help for student athletes

Zak Lyons

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After several weeks of disappointing turnout to the athletic tutoring program, supervisors have high hopes that attendance rates will rise as the school year continues.

The athletic tutoring program was started over a decade ago in an attempt to create an environment in which peer tutors can assist student athletes who are having trouble managing their time between their sports and academics.  Students who play any Redwood sport can drop in at any time to get a hand with their homework or study for their test.

As of press time, six sessions of athletic tutoring have taken place this year and a total of only six athletes have attended.

According to the program’s previous supervisor, Allison Kristal, attendance rates are usually low at first and then increase significantly as more students become aware of program.

“It’s hard to get the word out there, but once we do, students start coming and they notice it’s helpful and keep coming back,” said Kristal.

The program is free for students but only Redwood athletes may attend.  All of the tutors are Redwood students who are paid $10 an hour to help struggling student athletes with schoolwork.

“The peer tutoring is good because you know them and feel more comfortable with the tutor than you would with a teacher,” said Louis Knox, a student athlete.

But with such low attendance, many tutors expect to help athletes with their work and arrive to find out there is no one there to tutor.

Athletic tutoring has had several sessions this year and on average only one student has shown up to each session.  With more tutors attending than student athletes, the program’s supervisors, teachers Gilda Obrador and Ann Jaime, hope and expect attendance rates to increase significantly.

“We’ll get more attendees when the first grading period ends and students realize they are in danger of being ineligible for their sport,” Jaime said.

Aly Slater, a tutor who has been involved in the program for three years, agrees.

“As the year goes on more people show up because school becomes more hectic and they have more work,” Slater said.
In the past, attendance usually rose significantly in the weeks leading up to finals.

“Students usually come in when its closer to the end of a grading period or there is a final exam or midterm coming up and they need that extra help,” Obrador said.

Tutors and supervisors alike attribute the lack of student athlete participation to poor advertisement of the program.

“Typically there’s a lot of people who are not aware of the program so we try to advertise to coaches so they know to push their kids to come in and get help,” Kristal said.

The low turnout rate of student athletes may be beneficial for the few who do come in seeking support because they can spend more one-on-one time with the tutors.

“Athletic tutoring helps me focus and get my work done more productively and keeps me on task doing my homework by keeping me away from distractions,” Knox said.

Athletic tutoring is available every Wednesday in room 133 and on Thursdays in room 285 from 5:30 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.  Supervisors encourage any Redwood athlete

seeking academic support to stop by and get help from experienced peer tutors.

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