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Grant helps train public school tutors

April 5, 2016

A Serve Indiana grant will help IUPUI support putlic school education.

The Office of Civic Engagement is working with Indy Serve to train mentors and tutors for area public school students. Vice Chancellor for Civic Engagement Amy Conrad Warner, front row, second from left, and members of her engagement team met with Ceceily Brickley of Indy Serve, back row, third from right, to help discuss the program.

An AmeriCorps Serve Indiana planning grant will provide a solid foundation for IUPUI's Family, School and Neighborhood Engagement program to pursue a key goal: to train tutors and mentors in area public schools to help students learn more effectively.

The grant will be a resource for Family, School and Neighborhood Engagement, which is based in the Office of Community Engagement. It will help the program reinforce the city's education system and community infrastructure, according to Khaula Murtadha, associate vice chancellor for community engagement and head of the Family, School and Neighborhood Engagement program.

The program focuses heavily on family engagement and helps connect the dots in education, from prenatal care to post-secondary goals. "Through this grant, the AmeriCorps members will help tutors to focus on academic achievement, and mentors to provide guidance to young people to help them aspire to identify goals, how to achieve them and to do it realistically," Murtadha said.

She considers the collaboration with AmeriCorps and community schools to offer young people and their families "a holistic approach to education," she said. "We can help neighborhoods provide learning opportunities at many places, including schools, libraries and community centers." The Family, School and Neighborhood Engagement program considers community schools the hubs of neighborhoods, providing vital support services for youth, their families and neighbors.

Murtadha considers those locations as vital to helping young people take steps toward fulfilling academic careers and professional lives.

"It will offer us an opportunity to take a two-generational approach to education," she said. "We want to help young people, which is what the 10 to 20 AmeriCorps members will provide. But we also want to build the foundation for students' parents and adult caregivers. We want to help them nurture their child. That's the family focus."

"All children deserve a quality education in a safe, nurturing, youth-development-focused environment," added Murtadha.

Note: This story is part of an ongoing series highlighting IUPUI's Strategic Plan initiatives.

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