Our Islands, Our Future

Parents at Kamali’i Elementary School in Kihei know that teachers don’t educate alone, and that’s why a group of them are launching a new tutoring program this month. It’s called “Study Buddies,” and instead of getting assistance with homework after school, students will be able to get help before the school day begins. “Children who are having difficulty finishing homework, grasping certain basic core concepts or those who need to practice with their reading or math skills can take advantage of this program,” said Rachel Christopher, one of the parents behind Study Buddies.

The program involves two volunteers per day devoting 25 minutes a morning from 8 to 8:25 a.m. Monday through Friday. As the program progresses, more volunteers may be needed.
Study Buddies does not replace after-school tutoring assistance nor the work of community volunteers and parents during the school day. Christopher, the mother of two children including a 4th-grader at Kamali’i Elementary, said she understands that it’s difficult for teachers to allot individual quality time with each of their students. “Children who are struggling often consume more of a teacher’s time, which leaves less attention for the rest of the class,” Christopher said.

The goal of Study Buddies is to help struggling students finish their homework and build their skills in the areas of reading, writing and math. Christopher said she believes every child deserves the opportunity to tap into their potential, but not all are able to because of varying situations including the lack of one-on-one time to build confidence in their academic skills. Study Buddies will be open to all grades. Tutoring will be conducted in the school library. Once the program gets under way, Christopher and the same group of parents hope to start a math club to support basic concepts and core math skills. To volunteer for Study Buddies, contact Rachel Christopher at 385-8885 or email at racheken[at]hawaii[dot]rr[dot]com.