St. Norbert College receives Target grant for tutoring program

From St. Norbert College, January 20, 2010
by Mike Counter, mike.counter@snc.edu, (920) 403-3089

St. Norbert College has received a $1,000 Target grant, its second in two years, to help support its after-school program at Jefferson Elementary School, a K-5 school in the Green Bay area. Target's contribution will supply books for the children to keep, help transport St. Norbert student tutors to the children, and provide a special event to bring the children to campus.

"We are thrilled that Target is supporting our efforts to tutor and mentor children in our community," said Nancy Mathias, associate director of leadership and service at St. Norbert College. "One of the most significant challenges in our primary education system is ensuring that children can read at appropriate levels, and we hope to help close the achievement gap at Jefferson Elementary School."

"This is a stellar example of how corporate philanthropy can be used to effectively support public schools and area colleges" says Stan Kocos, extended learning coordinator for the Green Bay Area Public School District. "When a community partner such as Target invests in the academic success of children, the entire community wins," he adds.

This grant is part of ongoing efforts by Target to strengthen families and communities throughout the country. "At Target, our local grants are making a difference in the communities we serve," said Laysha Ward, president, community relations, for Target. "We're proud to partner with St. Norbert College as part of our ongoing commitment to give back to the communities where our guests and team members live and work."

St. Norbert College students have tutored at Jefferson Elementary School since 2005. This year, freshmen and sophomore tutors will continue this tradition by spending a few afternoons each week mentoring and tutoring students at Jefferson Elementary. Both the St. Norbert College students and the Jefferson students gain a lot from the tutoring experience.

"Our partnership with Jefferson has not only helped most of the participating children significantly increase their reading levels, it has also provided our St. Norbert College students with an opportunity to learn more about themselves, their community and their ability to make a difference," said Mathias.

The tutors are part of the Midwest Campus Compact Citizen-Scholar (M3C) Fellows Program, which is itself supported by a grant from the Corporation for National Community Service and managed by Midwest Campus Compact. In addition to providing essential reading skills, these tutors serve as role models for peers and children alike by demonstrating strong leadership skills and creating positive change in the community.

"The children that the M3C fellows work with benefit from the time spent not only on raising their reading levels and improving upon vocabulary, but they benefit from our reliability and our being a constant mentor in what may be a difficult world," said Kaylyn Krebs, sophomore and M3C fellow intern. "We love to check up on how their day at school was, and they look forward to sharing that with us. The Target grant aids in the continuing mission of childhood literacy at Jefferson, not only by the contributions it makes to the school, but also by providing books for the home and allowing us to meet their families as well."

For more information about the tutoring program and the M3C Fellows program, contact Nancy Mathias at (920) 403-4040 or nancy.mathias@snc.edu.