The Pacific Index

Pacific students devote time to tutor grade school

Alexa Block

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Pacific Students are contributing their time to a local volunteer program that helps local elementary school children with homework. A handful of Pacific students donate their time twice a week at a homework center in Forest Grove to help first through sixth grade students with their studies.

One of those students is senior Jillian Madison, who is the youth coordinator for the program.
The Homework Club is organized by Bienestar, an organization that provides low-income housing and services to families with members who are farm workers. Madison said “Bienestar does amazing work in the Hispanic Community.” Most of the students they work with are Hispanic and have Spanish-speaking parents. So these students cannot easily get help from their parents because they cannot speak English well.

The students are split by grades and there is a volunteer for each grade level. The students have the opportunities to do their homework, play educational games and draw. After snack time, the students can work on homework. If they do not have homework they get worksheets that work on educational skills for their grade level. After that they can play word games, memory games, card games draw or do puzzles. The volunteers have the chance to read to the younger children.

She found out about the program at a job fair in her sophomore year. Madison began working at the Forest Grove homework club three years ago and said she fell in love with the work and the students. The next year she became the youth coordinator, where she organizes the club, takes care of paperwork and recruits volunteers for the program along with working with the students.

“The children are just so smart and funny and loving. And it’s such a nice feeling,” Madison said.
The education major and mathematics minor said she enjoys working with children and chose to be a teacher so she can combine her passion for working with children and mathematics.

“I’ve always wanted to do something that benefitted the community. And I love children” Madison said.
“I have always grown up being an extremely open-minded and an empathetic person. I am really good at putting myself in the place of the other person,” Madison said. She was involved in various community service programs when she was in high school and discovered her passion for community outreach and interest in teaching when she was a part of a Planned Parenthood Teen Counselor program, where she was a part of organizing and educating students on HIV awareness.

“If people have the time and energy, there is always someone out there who needs a helping hand,” said Madison.
In addition to working at the Homework club, Madison is the vice president of an educational honor society, president of the Future Educators Club and a member of Pacific sorority Delta Chi Delta.

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Pacific students devote time to tutor grade school