Wednesday, May 23 , 2018, 3:05 am | Fair 56º

 
 
 
Advice

United Learning Center Gives Students an Outside Chance to Improve Their Skills

Comprehensive, computer-based tutoring program empowers kids in reading, science, and math

Mary Beth Adams, United Learning Center manager, helps a student with a program.
Mary Beth Adams, United Learning Center manager, helps a student with a program. (United Way of Santa Barbara County photo)

After a successful summer with 23 students, the United Learning Center is opening its doors for tutoring in reading, science, and mathematics during the upcoming school year.

Lexia, Reading Plus and Stride Academy are the core computer programs that the ULC implements for tutoring. While a student can access these programs at home and even uses them at some schools, it’s not redundant to use them at the ULC, according to United Learning Center manager Mary Beth Adams.

“(Having students use it at school and at the ULC) is something parents and teachers like because it can drill in the needed skills even more,” Adams said.

The motivational, game-based programs also keep kids from getting bored. Students can gain levels, work toward badges, and can even print out certificates after beating certain levels in Stride Academy.

“99 percent of the kids just love it,” Adams said. “We’ve had some reluctant readers come in and be impressed with how much they can do in each program, so it’s a really positive experience for them.”

The experience is also enhanced by the fact that the programs are individualized. Not only do the computer programs move along with the skill levels of each student, but Adams and Melinda Hodge, community impact officer with the United Way of Santa Barbara County, work with teachers and parents to get a full picture of what a child is learning.

“When teachers and parents are involved, we can get more comprehensive support for each child, which is better,” Hodge said. “It can also open up a good conversation with a teacher and parents, and really shed light on where a child is struggling.”

Along with consulting parent and teachers about attaining grade level, ULC tutors set academic goals with individual students.

“Our team really likes discussing personal goals with the students,” Adams said. “It’s a very powerful piece of the program.”

By setting goals and empowering students to keep working on their skills, students who are continuing from the ULC’s summer program will most likely see a drastic improvement in their skill level.

Hodge and Adams are both enthusiastic and optimistic about the new school year.

“We’re looking forward to the Fall and to keep working with students throughout the year to succeed at school,” Hodge said.

Click here for more information about the United Learning Center, or call 805.882.0513.

Mary Beth Adams of the United Way of Santa Barbara County is looking forward to working with the kids in the new school year. “Our team really likes discussing personal goals with the students,” she says. “It’s a very powerful piece of the program.” Click to view larger
Mary Beth Adams of the United Way of Santa Barbara County is looking forward to working with the kids in the new school year. “Our team really likes discussing personal goals with the students,” she says. “It’s a very powerful piece of the program.” (United Way of Santa Barbara County photo)

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