CENTER FOR TRAINING AND TUTORSHIPS
1. Briefly describe the structure of your program.
This program is part of the Digital Information Center (Centro de Informaciůn Digital) of our new Digital City Project. The tutorships program is intended to prevent several of the social illnesses of our City among our children and youth. It will allow proper use of free time through access to technology. For the economically deprived it represents a real opportunity to grow and develop. At the Center we have educational supervisory and teaching personnel properly trained to satisfy the needs of students requesting assistance. A room is equipped with up to twenty computers and an ample collection of educational software to provide tutorial assistance under the direct supervision and assistance of trained teachers and instructors. There is also personal assistance software such as word processors, spread sheets, data bases, etc., that can be used for document preparation and other tasks. The Center is also used for workshops and training on the use of technology by teachers of the schools in the City and other personnel. It has direct access to the INTERNET as well as a large database of electronic references to provide information requested by students. The facilities are open from 8:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M. Mondays trough Thursdays, 8:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. on Fridays and 1:00 to 6:00 P.M. on Sundays. These services will help alleviate and reduce many after school information seeking difficulties and frustrations typically suffered by students, thus creating a healthier educational atmosphere.
2. When was the program created and why?
This program was created in 1997 and started operations in 1 May, 1998. It emerged out of the concern of the Mayor of Caguas to be a factor in providing a better education to our children and youth that will surely assist them to have a full development as individuals. It is also intended that this program will provide those in need with full access to the latest educational technology.
3. How do you measure the programís effectiveness?
The programís effectiveness is measured by the size of the clientele being served. The demand has increased greatly and students come to the facilities after school until evening hours and during weekends. Service is provided through previously arranged appointments coordinated between the Center personnel and the studentís teachers and parents.
4. How is the program financed?
The programs is totally financed with funds from the Municipality of Caguas with no additional state nor federal funds received. Plans are in progress to submit proposals for federal funds to develop the telecommunications facilities and enhance the technological equipment.
5. How is the community involved in the program, if at all? How has the community responded to the program?
The community has responded very positively to this initiative and is requesting services on an increasing rate. School teachers and parents welcome the services which they express are very helpful and necessary.
6. What are major lessons learned from the program?
The need to provide individualized assistance to students that are lacking basic academic skills and come from needy families is a reality in most of our cities. Parents of participating students have expressed that they could not otherwise afford these services even though they know their children needs them. Students respond very positively to the individualized attention and are highly motivated by the access to technology thus improving their general attitude towards education. Follow-up activities are being planned throughout this school year to ascertain the effect on the participantís regular school work.
The United States Conference of Mayors
J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
Copyright © 1999, US Conference of Mayors, All rights reserved.