Loyola hosts six tutoring sessions during select Saturdays between Sept. 30 and Dec. 2 for students of 31 under-resourced Catholic middle schools in preparation for the High School Placement Exam (HSPT).
Each session consists of the same schedule. Students and tutors arrive on campus at 8:00 a.m. and prepare for the tutoring session, which begins at 9:00 a.m. The first half of the tutoring, which covers mathematics, finishes at 10:30 a.m. Students and tutors are then allowed a short break. The second half of the tutoring covers language arts, reading comprehension and vocabulary, which ends at 12:30 p.m.
Assistant Director of Community Service Angela Moran believes that by making this service experience mandatory for the freshman class, students are introduced to the type of direct service with face-to-face interaction that they will become more involved in later in their high school career.
Moran said, “I think [HSPT-8 Tutoring] is a good start for freshmen to learn about service. There are many students that come to Loyola not having been involved in community service, and this is a good way for us to get our freshmen started into what our community service program is all about. From here we also hope that they become more comfortable with this type of service and hopefully influence them to be more active in the community through service.”
The requirements for any service project associated with Loyola High School include having the students directly interact with a community that is under-served, under-resourced or disenfranchised.
Freshman David Case feels that the tutoring was a fun and fulfilling experience because of the quick improvement he witnessed in the eighth grade students.
Case said, “I enjoyed seeing the progress of our students throughout the session. My first group started out as a quiet group that didn’t ask me any questions. As we got to know each other throughout the day, my group began asking more questions and having fun. By the end of the day, my group had an understanding of what to expect from the HSPT and that was very rewarding.”
Freshman Kyle Hampton found the service event very gratifying as he was in the same position as the eighth graders last year.
Hampton said, “I enjoyed tutoring these students because I wanted to make it my goal and my responsibility for them to be able to do well on the test. I enjoyed looking at how hard these kids were trying and seeing how much they cared. My goal was to give them as much good help and advice as I received through this program last year.”
Although the majority of the tutors come from the freshman class, 30 total sophomores, juniors and seniors also attended the event.
Sophomore Diego Burgos, who is a returning HSPT-8 tutor, enjoyed the tutoring because of the impact he made on eighth grade students.
Burgos said, “I gained a sense of humility and purpose in teaching underprivileged seventh and eighth graders in allowing them to achieve their full potential and gain success in the high school of their choice.”
Though the service event includes the involvement of many parent proctors and faculty, the HSPT-8 core team, composed of previous HSPT-8 tutors, helps manage the tutoring sessions by organizing the rooms with their proper materials, signing students in and making sure that each room has the correct amount of tutors.