Daily Point of Light # 1718 Sep 4, 2000

The motto for the College Partnership for Kids Program (CPK) is “Students of Today for Students of Tomorrow.” This aptly describes the mission behind their service. In 1990, students from the College of William and Mary, motivated by the vision of one student, formed a relationship with a local elementary school and CPK was born. Now, 10 years later, CPK serves 13 elementary and middle schools and has more than 200 tutors who devote nearly 10,000 hours each year to providing academic and social support to local students.

As members of the Greater Williamsburg community, CPK tutors realize that it takes more than the tireless efforts put forth by local teachers and administrators to educate the young students to become productive citizens. In this era of over sized classrooms where schools act as social support systems, there is a greater need for community members to step forward and support the educational goals demanded by our society. CPK tutors volunteer schools to provide a much-needed resource for teachers, administrators, parents and most importantly, students. CPK tutors help prepare students to succeed in both their academics and their lives.

While schools and students reap benefits of extra instruction, CPK tutors are also rewarded. Tutors gain a greater sense of self and an understanding of the direct benefits of working with young students. In addition, CPK provides tutors with tangible skills that can be used in coursework and employment settings. Mandatory training sessions are held each semester, including the monthly “Kids Korner” training series. CPK also provides an extensive training manual for each tutor and a wealth of other resources, including reproducible games to use while tutoring. Leadership opportunities are available, namely in the form of Program Director positions, where tutors act as liaisons between a particular school and the CPK Coordinator. These positions help tutors develop key communication and organizational skills. Program Directors provide the personal contact and encouragement necessary to retain tutors. This type of student-to-student contact is a primary reason for their strong retention rate and the growing number of tutors volunteering with CPK for the first time.

CPK provides a unique experience for the tutors and the partner schools alike. They customize their program to match the needs of the schools and the preferences of the tutors. Tutors are sent to schools where they will be most effective based on their experience and comfort level. This enables CPK to provide the most beneficial experience to each of the 200 tutors as well as ensuring that they make a difference in the lives of the students they tutor.

CPK succeeds through the efforts of its tutors, the Coordinator and school educators who are willing to give of themselves to see that the young students of tomorrow have an opportunity to learn today. The College Partnership for Kids has truly become an outstanding addition to the school system, and the college students want to give back to the community and are willing to do what it takes to make that happen.