Backpack Tutoring Program Connects Twin Cities Students

Updated: 12/26/2013 10:59 PM By: Becky Nahm

Try as teachers might, one-on-one time with students is rare. So Twin Cities high school students are helping. They are donating their time through an after-school volunteer program called Backpack Tutoring.

The organization sends hundreds of students from Minnetonka and Blake High Schools to Minneapolis schools a couple times a week. They work with second-graders who could use some help. They work on reading and math skills.

They also work to form relationships. One high school tutor is often paired with a grade school student for a full year.

The chief organizer, Bob Davis, said the program certainly helps the second graders.

"Letting them know there is someone out there who thinks something good about them that's consistently coming to tell them that they are going to make it," said Davis. "That school is fun and that education is going to be part of their future."

He said it also helps the volunteer tutors.

"They come back to their community with a sense of pride about what they do but also an awareness of the outside world."

The only cost for the program are the buses that take the high schoolers to the grade schools. That's about $9,000 or about $0.66 per hour of tutoring.

In the past the group raised that money. This year Minnetonka schools are covering the cost.

Organizers are hoping to expand the program to more schools.

If you are interested in the program, you can visit the web page.