Rider’s School of Education is collaborating with teachers at two public elementary schools in Trenton to provide tutoring and mentoring to kindergarteners through 8th-graders.

The Rider Bronc meets students at Trenton's P.J. Hill Elementary School on the first College Day session of the academic year.

Rider’s School of Education is collaborating with teachers at two public elementary schools in Trenton, N.J., to provide tutoring and mentoring to students from kindergarten through 8th-grade. The two programs are designed to raise academic achievement and instill students with an awareness of higher education.

Beginning October 16, Education majors from Rider will visit P.J. Hill and Joyce Kilmer elementary schools – both of which currently rank among the lowest school-wide proficiency rates in New Jersey – to provide homework assistance and mentoring to students identified by school supervisors as those on the cusp of achieving the next level of proficiency. Rider is partnering with the Boys & Girls Club of Trenton for the three-days-per-week tutoring program.

The University is also expanding its successful College Day program with P.J. Hill to include more sessions, as well as an additional student-athlete-guided program for girls at Joyce Kilmer. Once a month, students from the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and female student-athletes from Rider will participate in College Day activities, which include discussions about higher-education goals, careers, study and time-management strategies, and social concerns. This year’s program began on September 21.

“I was proud to hear the conversation about the importance of postsecondary education in classrooms,” said Wayne Dennis, principal at P.J. Hill. “It is this kind of ‘sweat equity’ that will assist us achieving our goal of making adequate yearly progress.”

The Bronc, Rider’s popular athletics mascot, was on hand for the first session to greet students and staff outfitted in T-shirts and sweatshirts from local colleges and universities. College Day familiarizes the youngsters with these institutions through such logoed apparel, as well by mentoring sessions with college students. Rider students will conduct discussion groups with 7th- and 8th-grade students beginning in mid-October. 

The School of Education coordinates the volunteers for both the College Day and tutoring programs. Education students Sarah Sell ’13 and Courtney Biondo ’13, along with Suzanne Carbonaro, coordinator of assessment and special projects, are busily recruiting, scheduling, and organizing training sessions for tutors and mentors. 

“It has been an all-campus effort, from the Bonner Scholars to the student organizations to Greek Life,” said Dr. Sharon Sherman, dean of the School of Education. “We at Rider have come together to support the students in Trenton.”

Founded in 1913, Rider’s School of Education has become a cornerstone of the University by creating a diverse set of student-centered programs that address the needs of 21st century learners. Through partnerships with local schools, businesses, and government and community agencies, the School of Education works collaboratively to develop high-quality programs for its students.

Rider’s School of Education, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary during the 2012-13 academic year, will launch its commemoration with a keynote address by U.S. Rep. Rush Holt on Wednesday, October 17, in the Bart Luedeke Center Cavalla Room. The free event will begin with a reception from 5:30 to 6 p.m, and be followed by Holt’s address and a Q&A session from 6 to 7 p.m.