The alarming rate of suspensions in the Baltimore City schools as reported in the media underscores the need to take action for solving the discipline problems in the schools.
A prime piece of the long term solution to the crime problem in Baltimore City necessitates public schools to provide a more meaningful education for its students.
As a teacher myself, the best way I know how to do that calls for an effective and expanded tutoring/mentoring program. The program I am proposing, the TUTORING/MENTORING (T/M) PROGRAM, does not require any money for implementation because it’s based on VOLUNTEERISM.
The T/M Program – its basic tenet
My T/M program gets down to the brass tacks. Its goal is to provide each student in Baltimore City with a responsible surrogate parent otherwise known as the tutor or mentor), a tutor/mentor who will stay with the student from pre-k through the completion of an academic or vocational program that leads to gainful employment. The tutor/mentor could enlist the help of other individuals for building and expanding this support system for the student.
The T/M Program – Getting started
The T/M program calls for convening a series of conferences with every leader in every church, synagogue, and mosque throughout the state of Maryland. The agenda for these meetings consists of two key words – MOTIVATION and INSPIRATION. The program should be of such a nature that will motivate and inspire the leaders to return to their places of worship to make rousing appeals to their members to volunteer to serve as the tutors/mentors. Similar conferences would be conducted with representatives and personalities from business, media (radio, TV, newspaper, magazines), sports, and entertainment fields. The fact that the T/M program is based on volunteerism eliminates any cost to taxpayers.
This T/M program will provide each student with a sense of stability, continuity, and love – fundamental ingredients for guiding students on a path of success from pre-K through the completion of a program leading to gainful employment. Having well known figures as tutors/mentors is not really relevant. What is germane is recruiting volunteers who are ready, willing and able to make a big and meaningful difference in the lives of these students.
I am well aware of programs that do engage tutors, but they are not as far reaching as the one I am putting forth. My program is designed to provide an opportunity for every student in Baltimore City to have a tutor/mentor who will give the student committed and dedicated support from pre-k thru grade 12.
I believe there are thousands of citizens who would love to make a voluntary commitment to help students in Baltimore City get on the success track of life. The T/M program provides the tutors/mentors – the good samaritans – with memorable and spiritual experiences as they witness the positive strides the students will be able to take because of the help, guidance, sensitivity, and concern they are receiving.
The program can work. When the various pieces of the plan come together, the product will be a rewarding and gratifying plan of action for students and tutors/mentors alike.