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Lack of response impedes program

Nov. 10, 2004

By SARAH DIGREGORIO, reporter

Applications are due next week for student volunteers to tutor in an English as a second language program. Learning English Among Friends is a new program set to start next semester designed to help the Baylor Housekeeping staff overcome communication barriers by learning English.

LEAF at BU is patterned after a similar program already in place at other schools in the Waco area.

According to Kristin Kan, an Arlington senior and external vice president, an ESL program at Cesar Chavez Middle School served as the model for the LEAF at BU program.

LEAF at BU is a joint effort of the external vice president's office, Baylor Housekeeping, and Dr. Randy Wood of the education department.

Applications are now available in the student government office at the front desk. Completed applications are due Nov. 19. Folders are on the door of the external vice president office for each of the time slots, and applicants are to turn their application into the folder for the time slot when they wish to teach. Volunteers will have a training session before school starts in the spring on Jan 12.

According to David Gladney, a Cypress sophomore and student government cabinet member, LEAF will have about 15 student volunteer tutors and about 50 students from Baylor Housekeeping. Each student will get two to three adult learners.

"The program will consist of two hours tutoring per week," Gladney said.

According to Gladney, there will be two times for the program. One group will have class from 2-3 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday. A second group will meet from 8-9 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday. The program will run every week next semester so it's important for students to be committed to the program.

"LEAF encourages students to interact with the housekeeping staff," Kan said.

According to Gladney, the program is so important because it allows the Baylor Housekeeping staff to feel more of a part of not only the Baylor community, but also a part of the Waco community.

"It's a great opportunity for students to build lasting relationships with people from different backgrounds," Gladney said.

Rachel Pepe, an Austin sophomore, has applied to be a student tutor. Pepe, an education major, said LEAF at BU is a good program to help others learn English.

"I like that it's on campus, because it's easier for students to get involved when they don't have to travel off campus," Pepe said.

According to Gladney, student tutors don't need to be able to speak Spanish and are discouraged to speak Spanish because it hinders the learning process.

The application deadline has been extended from the original due date to allow more students to get involved and to allow the program to start at the beginning of a semester to avoid students' schedule conflicts.