[Noozhawk’s note: One in a series on Santa Barbara Partners in Education volunteers. This article is sponsored by Pacific Western Bank, a Partners in Education President’s Council member.]
After moving back to Santa Barbara a year ago to care for her father, Ann Rosecrance began exploring opportunities to give some of her time to something significant. She read an article about the nonprofit Santa Barbara Partners in Education, a program of the Santa Barbara County Education Office, and became captivated with the idea of helping students learn.
With 34 years of experience as an accomplished chemist and environmental scientist, the obvious choice for a great volunteering opportunity was to become a chemistry tutor at Santa Barbara High School. She had just a handful of students to tutor when she began in November 2011, but the number has since risen to more than 20.
“I am all about building confidence in the students,” she said. “By building their confidence, I am helping them be successful and feel good about themselves.”
Not only is Rosecrance helping the students with their confidence, she is also helping them improve their grades! Both Rosecrance and Stephanie Rivera, a Santa Barbara High chemistry teacher, have noticed a definite improvement in the students’ test scores, which of course improves their overall grades and grade-point average.
“I love encouraging students and being a positive role model for them,” Rosecrance said. “If I can help the students gain an understanding about science and math facts, then they in turn can do it for themselves.”
Inspired by her former high school chemistry teacher at SBHS, Mr. Patchen, Rosecrance hopes that she has as much influence on the students she tutors now, as he did with her.
In addition to her work at Santa Barbara High, Rosecrance has also spoken to fifth- and sixth-grade science classes at Hope School. Pleased with their knowledge and interest in science and the environment, Rosecrance enjoyed speaking to the students and sharing science facts with them, as well as providing information on environmental careers.
Among her many interests, Rosecrance has also begun working on a children’s book about climate change that is intended to help educate students as well as become a useful resource for teachers.
“I believe that children are concerned about what is going on in their environment and they want to learn how they can make a difference,” she said. “What they need from teachers is correct and consistent technical information, and I want to help provide that for them.”
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— Rebecca Finley was an AmeriCorps volunteer who served as a Santa Barbara Partners in Education volunteer coordinator during the 2011-2012 school year. Both AmeriCorps and Partners in Education are programs of the Santa Barbara County Education Office.