Thursday, December 22, 2011

Fall2011: A Crazy Semester!


This has been the most incredible fall semester. We experienced everything from an earthquake, a hurricane, a flashflood, an October Nor ‘easterner, and a massive power outage. However, the students at the University of Hartford who tutor with Educational Main Street are truly resilient. Our undergraduate students continued to tutor in spite of anything Mother Nature could throw at them. Over 250 undergraduates worked at our nine partner schools to serve Greater Hartford students.
At our end of semester, the Tutor Recognition Dinner was held on November 30th where these dedicated undergrads were honored for their efforts. Two students were honored individually, the Tutor of the Semester, Danielle Schwartz, a freshman working at Global Communications Academy in Hartford and the Tutor Coordinator of the Semester, Taylor Miller, a junior, who oversees the tutors at the University of Hartford Magnet School. These two young women went above and beyond their roles to support the efforts of Educational Main Street. You can read Danielle’s inspiring tutor essay on our website and view pictures of the dinner in our photo gallery.
I can only image what the spring 2012 semester will hold!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

September 2011

"Never believe that a few caring people cannot change the world. For indeed, that is all who ever have." Margaret Mead

Be a part of those caring people, join the 450 University of Hartford Educational Main Street tutors and help change the world for Harford's youth. Contact us at 860-768-5216 or go to and click on TUTORS for more information.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Twenty-two pasta dinners and counting!

Today, I will be hosting the 22nd annual Educational Main Street tutor dinner celebrating the spring semester accomplishments of over 200 University student tutors at nine different schools sites. Typically, our dinners have the same format-pasta, desserts, awards, door prizes, and certificates. We work hard to make it special, we change up the themes (tonight's theme is Jungle Fever) and find unique gifts to give each student. We send out invitations and wait to see what happens. If you host, will they come? Each semester, our worst fears never materialize and we are pleasantly surprised. The students arrive in batches; they start off as a small trickle and then arrive in larger groups. They sit together to eat (perhaps too, their dwindling meal plain points and the promise of food may play a role in their turnout!) and enjoy the evening. They bring the energy of commitment and comradery. These tutors completes between 25-50 hours of service learning working in small groups or one/one with students needing help. in 2010, the Points of Light Foundation calculated the worth of volunteer hours at $20.85/hour. Our students contribute (using the 25 hour mark) $104,250.00 this semester to the community. But, Educational Main street is a two-way street. The University students learn many great lessons from their young tutees. They learn patience, empathy, and life-long commitment to service. The benefits to both groups are extraordinary. But, tonight is about celebration. My staff and I get to bask in the light of these students' accomplishments. Tonight may be my 22nd dinner, I will be wearing animal print to match the theme and the night will be as always a truly special event. Thanks, tutors, for another wonderful semester.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Ems hts a high note

Educational Main Street is closing out its 20th anniversary celebrations with a bang by hitting a high mark in the number of tutors trained, oriented, and placed at EMS' Greater Hartford partner schools this semester. Two hundred sixty-three (263) University of Hartford students worked with 300 children individually or in small groups both during school and after school in grades pre-kindergarten through high school.

The EMS Tutoring Program is a unique program where everyone teaches and everyone learns. The tutors learn a great deal about their course work as they teach the children in the service-learning project. The children learn everything from forming letters to forming equations while they teach the university students lessons about life.

Mangaging the volune of student tutors are 15 dedicated student leaders know as Tutor Coordinators. They ensure that every student finds a placement and very child who needs one gets a tutor. Their dediation and leadership contribute to the success of the EMS Tutoring Program.

We at EMS are proud to be part of such a wonderful program. We will be celebrating together(all 260+) as a community over food and gifts on December 8th.

We are looking forward to the challenges and successes of our 21st year. Together we do make a difference.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

One-on-One Tutoring

The New York Times, Monday October 11, 2010

In an article about the Gates Foundation and technology in higher education, Steve Lohr concludes that tutoring is the top tool for academic improvement. "To date, education research shows that good teachers matter a lot, class size may be less important than once thought, and nothing improves student performance as much as one-on-one human tutoring." Educational Main Street continues to make a difference by providing one-on-one tutoring to over 5000 Greater Hartford youth each year.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

September of the 20th year.

September is typically one of the most hectic months for the us at Educational Main Street. The returning students are coming int to the office to sign up for tutoring slots, the freshman are coming in needed help in signing up on line for the program and work study students are trying to get a handle on all the payroll paperwork. The new coordinators (all 12 are relatively new to their positions) need training and the bus schedule needs to be tweaked each year. This year has been even more hectic as we have added on a new site, introduced our program to a new interim superintendent, and closed out a $200,000 grant for one of our after school programs. It may sound like a list of draining events but in reality it is the vibrant rhythm of a program that has one foot in the community and one foot on a college campus. The energy that it produces keeps the staff going when our own energy levels begin to wain. It is September! Let the semester begin!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Remarks at kick off event

Remarks from the Educational Main Street 20th anniversary kick off event.

The University of Hartford recognized in the late 1980’s that the future of the University was closely linked to the success of its adjacent neighborhood communities: Blue Hills and Upper Albany. These are two of the most challenging neighborhoods in the City with high percentage of families living at or below the poverty level, functioning at low literacy levels, and children achieving below city and state standards on mastery tests. In order to meet these challenges, the University, along with leaders from the Hartford School System, City Hall, and corporations, met to discuss solutions to the growing needs of its urban neighbors. The outcome of these meetings resulted in a dedication to community service with activities for both students and faculty including a 20-year relationship through Educational Main Street and the Hartford Public Schools. Today, we serve youth in Hartford and Bloomfield. in grades Pre-K through 12th. EMS works with children, their families, and their teachers.

Over these past 20 years, Ed Main Street has also provided the University of Hartford students, staff, and faculty members a unique opportunity to share their gifts and expertise with the students of the partner schools. However, Ed Main STREET runs in both directions. The University of Hartford community has been enriched by the experiences and gifts shared by the youth, families and teachers from its Greater Hartford neighbors. It has been a wonderful experience for us to be a part of Ed Main Street and its every expanding community of learners.

EMS Facts: over 20 years:
6146 tutors totaling 148,536 hours of service
145 tutor coordinators in leadership roles
Funding: $3,686,265.
Six Executive Directors
Five Directors
15 staff members

Fun facts
Average Cost of new house $123,000.00 /$270,000Average Income per year $28,960.00 /68,000
Average Monthly Rent $465.00 /$1400/mo Cost of a gallon of Gas $1.34 / $2.87Price for a new Jeep $12,4900.00 ;/ 31,000IBM PS1 Computer From -/$2,000.00-labp top $800-1200.00
Uof Hartford tuition: $11,920
Room & Board 5,178
Tuition: 427,750
Rom& Board 11,762
Not so fun facts
Majority of children live below the poverty level
Illiteracy at an all time high.
Gang violence at an all time high in city.
Of the 1853 Hartford youth entering 9th grade in 1986 only 900 graduated in 1990—48% completed high school.
86% of all fourth graders still score below state goals in reading. In some Hartford schools, no fourth graders met the state goal in reading or math. Statistics about the Hartford population 60% of parents are on welfare, nearly
50% of students come from non-English-speaking homes, approximately
20% of students require special education
40% of children attend pre-school, less than
50% of starting ninth graders graduate with their class,
40% of adults are literate
100% of children are on free or reduced lunches.
Encouraging Facts
Each child EMS tutors works with has a greater chance at improving his/her reading and have success in school than a child who has never had a tutor. We Make a Difference One Child at a Time. One Family at at time. EMS staff and and tutors will continue to work until we can close our doors knowing that every child in greater Hartford who wants to learn can succeed, and any child who wants to go to college will have the skills to do so.