School can be impersonal. The teachers are paid to teach, but not to deeply invest themselves in the children. But at KidSmart, the teachers are there to fully invest in the students and create a community where the students feel motivated to learn. KidSmart is an afterschool tutoring program, created by Bayshore Christian Ministries to support the students of East Palo Alto and encourage them to succeed.
From Monday to Thursdays, the children arrive at KidSmart at 3:00, and stay until 6:30, in a classroom with other students of their grade level. They are supervised by a designated tutor, and various volunteers arrive at different days to help the children practice their reading or math. Through this structure, the children are encouraged to complete their homework rather than giving up in frustration, because they have people always ready to help them with difficulties they might have with their studies.
KidSmart has indeed helped kids become smart. Last year, the program enrolled 61 students, with 91% completing their homework and 85% reading at or above their grade level. The program and those who run it are definitely devoted to helping the children improve in their studies, and their passion for helping students has created impressive results.
Parents are certainly impressed. An evaluation of parental satisfaction discovered that 100% of parents believe their children have better attitudes after attending KidSmart, and 100% agree that their children’s grades and reading have improved as a direct result of attending KidSmart. Through KidSmart, students learn to study well, and to work well. KidSmart has created a caring and supportive community in an underserved city that encourages their students to do their best.