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Expanding the EJ Activists Program

For the past year, the staff members at Educational Justice have worked diligently to launch a second pilot for the EJ Activists program. During our first pilot program, we gathered feedback from a small number of tutors working with middle school students at different community centers and middle schools in the Louisville area.

Now, Educational Justice has created a new online platform that will transform the way that volunteer tutors and their students interact outside of the classroom. We believe that the EJ Activists program will be able to expand well beyond our small offices.

Educational Justice has revamped the entire program. It allows for struggling middle school students, called ‘Achievers,’ to create an online profile and browse through a database of volunteer tutor profiles of high-achieving high school students, called ‘Activists.’

We have partnered with a few local community centers that have generously opened their doors for the tutoring sessions to take place. To make sure the Activists are reliable and are truly committed to helping their Achiever, we require each Activist to supply a high school transcript and teacher recommendation with their application. Thus far, we have gathered over thirty Activists from a number of different high schools in the Louisville area.

I interviewed one Activist, Hannah Burch, who was a participant in the original EJ Activists pilot program. She shared her thoughts with me on the renovations of the program and what she expects will be different from last year.

“Last year I volunteered at the West End School along with some other tutors who have since graduated. It was a really great experience not only for my student, but for me as well. At first it was difficult to keep him engaged, but by the end of the program we routinely stayed longer than an hour working on multiplication and division skills. This year, I am really excited about the whole website part of the program. It will make it much easier to schedule times and keep track of meetings with my Achiever. Especially with the built-in online incentive component of the website, I think that tutoring this year will be a great success. I’m really looking forward to starting up again!”

Hannah mentions an incentive component to the website, which is a new unique part of the Achiever page. For each meeting an Achiever attends the student will receive a certain number of tokens that are redeemable at the EJ Activist Store. An Achiever earns tokens based on a short questionnaire that the Activist completes following each meeting. The Activists respond to questions about the student’s punctuality, participation, and attitude. The Activists can also provide positive feedback that will be displayed on the Achiever’s page. Prizes within the EJ Activist Store range from restaurant vouchers to iPads and everything in between. It’s there to make learning more fun for the students.

As you can tell, 2015 is gearing up to be a busy year for Educational Justice and we are very excited to start things off with a bang!

–Breck Stodgehill

 

3 Comments

  1. Andrew
    February 27, 2015

    EJ Activists sounds like such a great program. I can’t wait to apply to be a part of it!

    • Brittany
      February 20, 2016

      Educational Justice is an outstanding program. Any student or staff member that gets involved is very luck to have this as part of their life. There are so many rewarding outcomes that I have seen coming out of Educational Justice in just the short few months that I have been a part of it.

  2. Haley S.
    March 14, 2015

    This program will be able to help so many struggling middle school students!!

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