Sandy Hill Partners With GVSU for “Love to Read” Program

Sandy Hill, GVSU, teacher candidates, Jenison Public Schools, Kathy Keehn, Jill Warren

Rebecca Rosevear works with her second grader at Sandy Hill.

Like so many others in education, Grand Valley State University Professor Jill Warren knows that receiving one-on-one support is the key to lifting some students to greater academic success. However, with teachers already balancing heaping plates and managing bulging class sizes, one-on-one support is often difficult to provide consistently within the classroom.

Professor Warren understands that what’s needed now more than ever is supportThat’s why she is thrilled to be teaming up with Ms. Kathy Keehn, principal of Sandy Hill, to provide outstanding before-school tutoring for students in the “Love to Read” program.

“I have been so impressed with Kathy. She is so knowledgeable and has high, yet realistic expectations for students. She’s also incredibly consistent and keeps us totally apprised of what’s going on. I’m thrilled to be sending GVSU kids to Jenison!” Professor Warren exclaimed.

Grand Valley students enrolled in the College of Education have committed to working in local schools as part of their English 308 requirements.

Twice a week, these tutors travel to Sandy Hill to spend an hour working with students. With their before-school hour of tutoring time, they slate a thirty minute slot for each of the two students assigned to them. They are responsible to plan a lesson that builds on concepts already introduced in class.

Oftentimes this experience allows Grand Valley teacher candidates their first glimpse of education from the other side of the lens. Working with students in this venue them a better sense of what teaching is really about–especially considering that much has changed since they were on the receiving end of a classroom desk.

“I’m so fortunate to have been at Sandy Hill,” said GVSU junior Jamie Rozema, who has enjoyed her time so much that she has offered to stay on beyond her required hours.

Students are seeing the benefits, too, spurring the elementary school to continue the partnership into 2013. The “Love to Read” program is making a difference for everyone involved!

“By partnering with Sandy Hill and being nurtured by intelligent and caring individuals like  Kathy Keehn, my students are getting the best of the best.  The students gain a new appreciation of teaching to the whole child while being welcomed by your community of learners, teachers, families, and staff members.  I am grateful [for Jenison’s] partnership with Grand Valley!” –Professor Warren.

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