Ursuline News

Senior Service Spotlight: McShan Elementary

Each Monday, 52 Ursuline seniors work hard tutoring McShan Elementary students. They work with mostly refugee children ranging in a variety of native languages, and tutor them in the English language, reading, and math.

The UA seniors arrive to Ursuline promptly at 8:30 a.m. to do two, 45-minute sessions with their students. The sessions are virtual, due to COVID-19.

Among these senior Ursuline tutors are Paige Van Hyfte, Caroline Cohen, and Nina Berry.

After their two tutoring sessions, Paige and her partner spend 30-minutes planning their lessons based on how their students are improving.

“I love helping my students grow in and out of the classroom,” she said. “Each session, I am able to see progress with them, which is so exciting!”

To her, Serviam is acting on compassion by getting involved with serving the community. And she’s so thankful for this opportunity.

She’s learned that it is important to tutor refugee children so they can have the opportunity to thrive. Her favorite moment this year? Learning more about and getting to know her students.

“During one of my tutor sessions, my partner and I learned that our student loves to sing and that he posts YouTube videos for fun.” she said.

Caroline agrees with Paige that the best part about tutoring is connecting with her students.

She loves having the opportunity to tutor with McShan Elementary each week because she hopes to be a teacher one day.

“I am so grateful to get involved in this field so early and start figuring out a more specific pathway,” she said. “I have learned how to cater to different children’s needs and adapt to their learning styles.”

Caroline’s tutoring partner, Nina likes to think of herself not only as a “tutor” but also as a friendly face for her students to see each week. She hopes they know they can talk to her and Caroline about anything.

“I enjoy this service opportunity because it is an environment outside of my comfort zone,” she said. “I am not used to tutoring or working with kids and it has been a true joy to watch the progress and see the excitement and pride the student feels when they become a better reader.”

Through this opportunity, she has been shown how important it is to have teachers and tutors in place for these eager students that want an equal chance to have the same educational resources.

Serviam, to me, means action,” she said. “It means detailed lesson plans, it means putting our Monday morning tiredness aside to make a difference in education, and it means loving and caring for students, even if it’s through a Zoom screen.”

"With the help of Dalene Buhl and Margo McGuire from the McShan Elementary Reading Homeroom, the girls are coordinated to succeed with their students," said UA Service Coordinator Gabi Merani. "They work very hard to track progress!"