Summer tutoring keeps students in tune during time off

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 15, 2002

Tutor Kathy Castellane, left, asks 9-year-old Braddock Oaks questions about a baseball book he read. Braddock’s father, Larry Oaks, rear, waits for the end of Braddock’s tutoring session at the Warren County-Vicksburg Public Library.

(The Vicksburg Post/C. Todd Sherman)

[07/15/02]School’s out for summer? Not for everyone. Nine-year-old Braddock Oaks spends one day in the public library each week.

Mixed in his summer routine of playing baseball and video games, Braddock is being tutored weekly in math and reading to help him retain everything he learned in the second grade.

Even though he’s an A and B student, Braddock’s parents said they want to give him an edge so there’s no vacation from learning.

Larry Oaks, Braddock’s father, said he and his wife have always had their children tutored during summers to keep their minds active.

“I believe it makes it easier to transition back to school,” Oaks said. “Ultimately, it’s an investment in my child’s future.”

Sitting in the children’s section last week before his tutoring session, Braddock read part of a book about one of his favorite subjects baseball. He is also enrolled in the Reading is a Picnic summer program of the Warren County-Vicksburg Public Library.

Kathy Castellane, Braddock’s tutor this summer and a teacher at Beechwood Elementary School during the academic year, said tutoring provides one-on-one assistance that is hard to find anywhere else.

“It’s hard to give individual help when you have 20 to 25 kids in a classroom,” Castellane said.

Tutoring can help build self-confidence and self-esteem in students because they will be familiar with material covered when they go back to school, Castellane said.

Some students have had extraordinary progress during summer tutoring, Castellane said.

“I’ve had some students in kindergarten and actually taught them to read over the summer,” Castellane said.

Lois Brown, a parental outreach liaison employee of the Vicksburg Warren School District Parent Center, said many schools across the country have changed to year-round schools because students forget information over the summer.

Structured tutoring helps and provides a healthy addition along with spending time in front of the television, playing outside and playing video games, Brown said. She expects more parents to have their children take advantage of summer tutoring and programs.

“They’re very common,” Brown said. “And they are becoming more and more common.”