Impacting Philadelphia Students Through Jubilee’s Tutoring and Mentoring Initiative

My name is Serlin Devlin, and I am the Operations Coordinator at Jubilee, a role where I have the privilege to support the mission of Jubilee and serve Jesus. When the opportunity arose to participate in our new Tutoring and Mentoring Initiative (TAMI, for short), I was thrilled. TAMI is a program through which we
have volunteer tutors work one-on-one or in small groups with K-12 students in our Jubilee Network Schools.

I have always been passionate about working with children. TAMI provided me with that opportunity that I would not have had otherwise. I tutored two students, at separate sessions, over the course of six weeks. From the very first tutoring session, I noticed the impact it had on the students to be able to sit
with an adult one on one. Students were able to read books out loud with me, a task they would not have been able to accomplish in a classroom full of students. Tutoring allowed students to ask questions freely and focus on their assignments, free of distractions. They were able to work on developing specific skills that were vital to their academic learning.

Tutoring also provided students the opportunity to share about their personal lives. During my experience with one student in particular, the simple question of “How was your weekend?” opened the door for her to share about her family and the things that excited her in life. The student just needed someone to be a listening ear and I was grateful to offer her support in a simple way.

Not only did the students feel supported, but their teachers did as well. In the midst of managing a classroom full of students, it can be difficult for teachers to focus on the individual needs of each student. It was evident that the teachers cared greatly for their students and longed to see them thrive. Pulling a child out of the classroom to tutor offered assistance that teachers were very grateful for. Week after week, I watched the students return to their classrooms after tutoring with a sense of accomplishment after learning skills and completing their assignments. Their teachers shared that the students just needed a little extra support, and they could see improvement in the students over time.

TAMI opens the opportunity for you to bless a child with your support. A simple task such as sitting with them and listening to them read has a greater impact than we can see in that moment. It’s a chance to allow God to use you to minister to a child who may need extra help, and one that is rewarding in many ways.