Former DeBerry Students And Springfield College Tutors ReuniteMarch 27, 2003
SPRINGFIELD, Mass., March 27, 2003Springfield College is inviting to a reunion more than 1,200 former local school children and its graduates who were partners for a year of tutoring, fun and enriching activities. The Partners Program 10th Anniversary is scheduled for Saturday, April 5, from 2 to 4 p.m., at the Basketball Hall of Fame.
During the past 10 years, more than 600 Springfield College students were paired as tutors and mentors with children from the DeBerry School. Youngsters in The Partners Program are transported to the college after school for an hour of academic help. College students then take the children to dinner in the college’s dining hall and another activity, such as a sports event, crafts project, or social time.
“We’re working hard to get the word out to hundreds of former mentors and pupils to reconnect at an afternoon of fun and memories. We’ll have 10 years of photographs on display, a brief talent show by youngsters who are currently in the program, and refreshments,” according to Charlene Elvers, Springfield College director of student volunteer programs.
“For those who have stayed in touch with their former partners in the program, and for others who will see each other for the first time in years, it will be more than a trip down memory lane,” Elvers said. “It will also be a chance to see how The Partners Program continues to help local youngsters achieve academically and college students gain experience and satisfaction as volunteer tutors and mentors. It’s mutually beneficial,” she said.
Springfield College launched the Partners Program with the William N. DeBerry School in 1993 as a support system for academically at-risk elementary school students. The program also involves parents in monthly social, cultural, or educational events. In 1995, Springfield Technical Community College and American International College joined the effort and expanded services to Elias Brookings and Homer Street schools. That year, the Corporation for National Service awarded a $143,000 grant to the program.
For Springfield College Partners Program alumni interested in attending the 10th anniversary celebration, information is available from the Springfield College Office of Student Volunteer Programs, telephone (413) 748-3394.