A new tutoring program is bringing business professionals and sixth graders together for shared learning and community connections.
A group of 26 Emerson Process Management/Fisher Division staff, mainly from the Governor Road plant, visit Lenihan Intermediate School weekly to tutor reading and math to several sixth graders. This initiative started as a community effort project from Emerson/Fisher led by school board member Ross Harris of Emerson/Fisher, his co-worker, Lynn Jensen, and Lynn’s wife, Connie Jensen, a paraeducator at Lenihan.
Lenihan teachers are reporting increased student achievement scores in reading and math in part due to the tutoring.
Aside from the learning, Lenihan teacher Brandon Goldman said students get a chance to ask questions of the volunteers about their jobs and realize what they are learning applies in the business world. “They’re building great relationships with community members,” Goldman said.
Emerson/Fisher staff are also reaping the benefits of the program, according to Lynn Jensen.
“They love it,” he said. “It’s invigorating for them. They all come back smiling.”
Lynn Jensen said the program was started on the belief of giving back to the community.
“I’ve always been a strong believer that we need to give back to our community,” he said.
Harris and Lynn Jensen are looking for continued growth in this program in volunteers from Emerson/Fisher.
“Next year I hope we can get 30 to 40 people out here to volunteer,” Harris said.
Harris also would like to encourage other businesses in town to start similar tutoring programs at other schools in Marshalltown.