Practice Makes Perfect Summer Program
This summer, 90 New York City fourth graders are getting a head start on the fifth grade: 45 ninth graders are getting exposure to an intensive college curriculum; 12 college students are gaining valuable work experience and hundreds of people across three of New York City’s neediest communities are benefiting from Saturday volunteer programs, all with the help of Practice Makes Perfect. The nonprofit organization founded by five Cornell students is making an impact in New York City, establishing programs at schools in Long Island City, Bedford- Stuyvesant and Harlem to provide tutoring services to children who can benefit from additional reading and math skills. The program is being funded by a grant from Ernst & Young.
Coming on the heels of its successful inaugural program last summer, Practice Makes Perfect has expanded its program to serve nearly three times as many students citywide. The organization recruits and trains ninth grade tutors who also act as role models for the younger students. The unique program pairs two fourthgrade students with one ninth-grade tutor to work on practice problems after receiving a lesson from a college intern who leads the class. This model allows the students to feel more comfortable learning from their peers as opposed to a more intimidating one-on-one situation.
“Practice Makes Perfect introduces young students to role models from their own community and effectively changes the environment around education in order to narrow the achievement gap,” said Practice Makes Perfect President and Cofounder, Karim Abouelnaga.
Studies have shown that the two-anda half-month summer break typically leads to a learning loss of 25 to 30 percent of gains made during the school year. In contrast, fourth grade students who participated in last year’s Practice Makes Perfect summer program raised their reading levels by four percent and their math levels by six percent on mock New York state assessment exams.
Practice Makes Perfect is still recruiting fourth graders to participate in its 2012 summer program. There are spots still available at all three schools: Long Island City H.S. in Queens, Bread & Roses Integrated Arts H.S. in Harlem, and Bedford Academy H.S. in Brooklyn.
The high school and college students participating in the program will also be involved with the Serving Our Streets Program, which will enable Practice Makes Perfect to reach hundreds more in the communities in which they serve. The students will work with local non-profit and community organizations on Saturdays throughout the summer to make a difference in their own backyards. For more information visit, www.pmpnyc.org.