Wisdom meets potential in senior tutoring program

alandubs-jaylenlaborielTutor Alan Dubs, fist pumps with first grader Jaylen Laboriel, 6, after going over his alphabet letters Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016, at Arthur W. Ferguson School, in York City.

Alan Dubs is retired, but far from idle — he dedicates approximately 35 hours each week to Ferguson K-8 school. And one local organization is looking for at least a few more generous seniors to do the same.

Dubs works with students in the K-8 school as a tutor through the RSVP of the Capital Region, a volunteer-based organization in the area for people 55 years old and up. The tutoring program began about three years ago, according to Scott Hunsinger, the organization’s development coordinator in York, Adams and Franklin counties.

Each year since the program’s inception, Dubs has won the award for tallying the most volunteer hours.

At 65, Dubs knew he wanted to give back to the community. He decided to connect with RSVP and work with students at Ferguson K-8, where his own daughter attended school. He works with kids of all ages — he even eats lunch with them on occasion.

“It’s so rewarding. It gives you a sense of purpose,” Dubs said. “When I go into school, I tell a lot of them that I’m their temporary in-house parent or grandparent, and I’m going to treat them just like they’re my child.”

The volunteers: Volunteer tutors are able to spend time in the school of their choice so long as RSVP of the Capital Region has a relationship with that school. The seniors can choose to dedicate the number of hours that work with their schedules, as well.

Patti Hullman, a former kindergarten teacher and resident of Springfield Township, decided to volunteer in Jackson K-8 because she missed teaching after retiring.

She spends about two hours each week with a kindergarten class there, helping the children master the skills to help them succeed in the future. Hullman said volunteering in a kindergarten class is important because many of the students might not know English and didn’t always attend a pre-K program. Therefore, the children may be just learning basic skills in English before they can move on to anything else

“I think especially with the younger children, the more we can do to help them to acquire that good foundation that they need to carry them through school, the better they’re going to be,” Hullman said. “When I taught I was fortunate because I had a lot of parent volunteers, but that just isn’t the case anymore with a lot of the districts, not just the city district.”

Both Hullman and Dubs agreed that there’s a dire need in York County for more tutors and volunteers in the school districts in general. With many families either having single-parent households or homes in which both parents work, there aren’t as many people who can take the time to volunteer during the school days with the kids. And both said volunteering with the younger kids is incredibly fulfilling.

“We feel we get as much out of the program as the children that we’re working with,” Hullman said. “It makes you feel good and it’s helping us and as much as it seems to be helping them.” Dubs said the kids just love working with him and the other volunteers, and they are almost like family to him.

The program: The tutors in the program work primarily on reading and math, Hunsinger said. There are currently 16 tutors who work in York County and serve three school districts: York City, Hanover and South Eastern. In York City, tutors volunteer in Jackson, Devers, Ferguson and McKinley K-8 schools. Hunsinger said that they are working on getting a tutor for Goode K-8 in the near future as well.

Hunsinger wants to continue to expand the tutor program to even more school districts in the county, but to do so RSVP of the Capital Region needs more volunteers. Volunteers aren’t paid but are reimbursed for transportation, given free supplemental liability insurance, given assistance with clearances needed to work with students in the district and get a lot of satisfaction from helping the kids, Hunsinger said.

“Students really look up to the tutors, they really like having them come in,” Hunsinger said. “It’s not just tutoring; the tutors show them love, and they get attention from the tutors on a one-on-one basis.”

Hunsinger said none of the 16 volunteers are there for the perks but because they really love the community and want to better it. Many volunteers that tutor volunteer through RSVP in other aspects  as well, such as for the food bank or in soup kitchens.

To get involved as a volunteer for the RSVP of the Capital Region, Scott Hunsinger encourages anyone to email him at YorkAdamsFranklin@rsvpCapReg.org or call him at (443) 619-3842.

This article is reproduced with permission of The York Dispatch, Alyssa Jackson (writer), and Amanda J. Cain (photographer).

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Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service

 

MLK_DOS_LogoHelping residents of York County

RSVP of the Capital Region and the Senior Companion Program of York County are collecting hygiene and food items to benefit the York County Food Bank, as part of our Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service project.

Donations are being collected January 8th – February 8th, 2016

Hygiene and non-perishable food toothpasteitems:

  • Canned vegetables & fruits
  • Canned and boxed meals (i.e. soup, chili, stew, macaroni and cheese, hamburger helper)
  • Canned or dried beans, and peas
  • Pasta, rice, low sugar cereals
  • Peanut buttercans
  • Instant mixes like potatoes, gravies, and sauces that add a little something special to a holiday meal
  • Canned meats (i.e. tuna, chicken, salmon) that do not require refrigeration before opening
  • 100% fruit juice (canned, plastic, or boxed)
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For further information contact:

Lambrini Nauss     717-843-2677     LNauss@SpiriTrustLutheran.org

Scott Hunsinger     443-619-3842     YorkAdamsFranklin@rsvpCapReg.org

Larry Coghlan: RSVP York County Volunteer of the Month

Joe Coghlan, York County Volunteer of the month, and Jobie Bolden, Hanover Street Elementary Teacher

Joe Coghlan, York County Volunteer of the month, and Jobie Bolden, Hanover Street Elementary Teacher

Larry Coghlan is a volunteer tutor for RSVP of the Capital Region at Hanover Street Elementary School in the Hanover School District. Larry tutors students in math and helps them with their homework. His students call him ‘Mr. C’ and they love the fancy hat he wears to school. Larry has been a volunteer tutor at the school for the past two years.

He was in the Air Force for eight years, then worked for the federal government for twenty-nine years, retiring in 1999.Larry then worked as a contractor to the government for thirteen years. He enjoys gardening, woodworking and traveling in retirement. He and his wife live in Hanover.

Jobie Bolden, teacher at the school, stated, “Mr. C brings a plethora of experiences to our room, is the grandfather a lot of these students have been missing, and is that extra hand we love having in our classroom”.

For more information on volunteer opportunities, email YorkAdamsFranklin@rsvpCapReg.org or call Scott Hunsinger at 443-619-3842

ZEST FOR LIFE 2015 RSVP TUTOR OF THE YEAR–Lancaster/Lebanon/York

Zest for Life Tutor of the Year
Zest for Life Tutor of the Year

 

Alan Dubs of York is presented with the 2015 Tutor of the Year award for the Lancaster/ Lebanon/York area by Angela Tennis, Board President of RSVP of the Capital Region, at the annual “Zest for Life” Volunteer Recognition at the Radisson Penn Harris on May 6.

 

 

 

 

Winter Items Collected for York County Residents

Lillian Wagner, RN, Admissions Liaison at Colonial Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in York

Lillian Wagner, RN, Admissions Liaison at Colonial Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in York

RSVP of the Capital Region-York County in association with six donation sites located around York County collected warm clothing for adults and children items for the winter months.  The donated clothing included; socks, hats, scarves, and gloves. The donations sites were located at Stewartstown Elementary, Hanover Council of Churches, Hanover Street Elementary School, Red Lion Senior Center, and Issac’s Deli in York.

We collected four hundred fifty items that were donated to Hanover Council of Churches, Mason-Dixon Community Services, Hanover Street Elementary, and Stewartstown Elementary School.

Colonial Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in York and Windy Hill Senior Center donated most of the clothing for the residents in York County.

Some individuals at Colonial Manor knitted some of the donated clothing.

RSVP of the Capital Region provides volunteers 55 and over for various organizations in York County. If you would like to become a volunteer please contact Scott Hunsinger at 443 619-3842 or by email yorkrsvp@rsvpcapreg.org

Alan Dubs Named York County Volunteer of the Month for February

RSVP of the Capital Region nominates Alan Dubs for York County February Volunteer of the Month. Alan has been a volunteer tutor at Ferguson Elementary School with the City of York School District. Alan volunteers about thirty to fifty hours a week to tutor students in reading and math.

Alan Dubs

Alan is retired and lives with his family in York. The students whom he tutors love having him at their school.

SOCK IT TO US!

It’s not too late to Sock It to Us! No one should be cold this winter. No child. No adult. Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) of the Capital Region wants to eliminate this problem for many of the residents of York County through Sock It To Us!, a statewide signature project of Senior Corps of Pennsylvania.

socksYou can still help! Grab a pair or two of new socks, scarves, gloves or winter hats for any age child or adult. Deposit them at any of the following drop off sites starting 10/8/14 and ending on 11/10/14:
Windy Hill Senior Center
Stewartstown Elementary School
Red Lion Senior Center
Member Churches of the Hanover Council of Churches
Hanover Street Elementary School
Issac’s Deli, York

Just look for the Sock It To Us! sign.

All donations go to residents of the York County. Donations will be made to the following organizations and schools for distribution to those most in need:
Stewartstown Elementary School
Hanover Council of Churches
Mason-Dixon Community Services
York City School District
Hanover Street Elementary School

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RSVP recruits and places volunteers as: tutors, meals on wheels deliverers, friendly visitors, mentors, knitters/crocheters, food bank workers, van drivers, activities aides, clerical workers, quilters, and numerous other volunteers where they are most needed in York County. For large donations or more information on drop-off sites or volunteer opportunities, call RSVP’s York County office at 443 619-3842 or the statewide Senior Corps of Pennsylvania hotline at 1.800.870.2616.