The Baby Bulls Academy Saturday School recently conducted its bi-monthly program at the Holmes Elementary School in Liberty City.
Spearheaded by Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS), partner Teach for America (TFA) and Gulliver Schools, the program exposes third and fourth grade students to additional reading time via oneon- one tutoring.
The tutors are Miami Northwestern Senior High AP students and Gulliver Prep IB students. In attendance to show support for the academy were Alberto M. Carvalho, Miami-Dade superintendent of schools, and Frank Steel, Gulliver head of schools.
The purpose of Holmes Elementary is to eliminate educational inequality in the urban community via character development, high academic expectations, rigorous instruction and real-world exposure. The goal is to empower the school’s approximately 550 students to compete successfully in the global marketplace.
“We are so grateful to have the Baby Bulls program in our school,” said Dr. Yvonne Perry, principal of Holmes Elementary. “This unique relationship has allowed the both the high school volunteers and the elementary school students to benefit and learn from each other in a fun, laid-back environment.”
To date, 240 students have enrolled in the program and that number is expected to increase. The program is based on the “buddy system” that encourages each elementary school student to choose a high school volunteer as his or her tutor.
The buddies work as a team each session. The Baby Bulls Academy is comprised of three 40-minute sessions with the following activities: 1) Literacy, one-on-one guided reading for comprehension; 2) Reflection, writing and public speaking/sharing time, and 3) Games, sports, arts and crafts and other activities.
Exercises often include reading and writing about a book the student has read and then discussing the book with other students. The books are donated to Holmes Elementary as part of the academy.
At the recent event both Carvalho and Steel were in attendance to experience the academy first-hand and to read with the students.
M-DCPS is the fourth largest school district in the United States, comprised of 392 schools, 345,000 and over 40,000 employees. The school district stretches over 2,000 square miles of diverse communities, ranging from rural and suburban to urban cities and municipalities. District students speak 56 different languages and represent 160 countries.
Gulliver Schools is a private, non-profit, independent, co-educational, non-sectarian day school with the mission of providing a superior, personalized college preparatory education fostering well-rounded, successful, lifelong learners. For more information visit www.gullivershools.org.
Holmes Elementary School, named for the educator Rev. William Holmes, is located at 1175 NW 67 St. in Miami.