14 Apr Lakeview’s Lend-A-Hand
BY CECELIA JONES
Little Elm ISD teachers and administrators always want to make sure every child learns.
But when students themselves own that philosophy and use it to help their peers, it is powerful!
Lakeview Elementary third-grader Patricia Cruz Escobar,
a member of her school’s student council, is a leader-in-training. This past fall, she had an idea. So, she says, “I went to talk to some of the principals to make a club where kids can tutor kids!”
Interim principal Marcia Torres describes how Patricia imagined the tutoring program entirely on her own. “She sees her friends needing extra help, and wants to help. It’s ‘kids helping kids’.”
As soon as Patricia received the green light for what she calls “the tutoring club”, she presented the idea to her fellow student council members at their monthly meeting. The 50 third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade students who voted agreed that the Lend-a-Hand program would be a great idea.
Despite having their own share of schoolwork, Patricia and her fellow student council members are excited about tackling this new endeavor to help their friends who are struggling in academic areas. “We are covering all subjects—social studies, reading, math, science, and any other homework,” Patricia explains.
The small, student-driven volunteer group meets after school. During the first week, more than a dozen students showed up, either to ask for or to receive help.
The tutors are all fellow students. Fourth graders help other fourth graders, fifth graders help third graders. Many of them wear Lend-A-Hand aprons especially hand-made by Patricia’s parents. “My mom only made a few because she ran out of time,” Patricia explains. “She wants to make more.”
To make sure that Patricia and the other tutors receive the support and resources they need in order to be successful, Principal Torres also attends. “It doesn’t surprise me that Patricia is behind this,” she says. “It makes me proud to know we have students who are looking for ways to help their peers and their community. They even look for opportunities to donate outside Little Elm. We have so many kids who couldn’t wait to help, and are excited to be a part of this student initiative.”
“We are covering all subjects—social studies, reading, math, science, and any other homework,”
Fourth-grader Nic Prindle was there, armed with his Lend-A-Hand apron and servant spirit. “I am here helping with math,” he explains. “My teacher recommended I help, but it was more me who wanted to. I’ve always liked helping people in math because it is my favorite subject!”
Patricia is hoping that after a few Friday sessions, they will fill the library—both with students who are looking for homework help, and with those who want to “Lend a Hand!”