ENCINITAS — A free tutoring program at the Encinitas that is the result of a public-private partnership is reaping benefits for some of the area’s most vulnerable students — the children of migrant workers.
The program, which started in May, is a partnership between C2 Education, a for-profit tutoring company, and the San Diego County Office of Education’s Migrant Education program. It runs from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Thursday nights in the library, where students meet up with a trained tutor to receive homework help and mentoring.
“The partnership has been extremely beneficial for the children I work with, and for a variety of students in Encinitas,” said Gabriela Beas, migrant services aide at San Diego County Office of Education. “As a migrant myself, these kids are important to me, and I want nothing more than to see them succeed.”
In just a short time, representatives said, the program has paid dividends.
Two students graduated from high school this past June who if not for the tutoring program might not have been in that position, said Sherie Ibarra, C2 Education San Diego Program Director.
“I’d like to believe that we are making a difference in people’s lives,” Ibarra said.
Ibarra acknowledged that some might see a program aimed at assisting the children migrant workers as controversial, given that some might be living in the United States illegally.
However, she said once a student in in the system, they are deserving of the same opportunities as any other student.
“Once somebody is here and if they are getting an education, it levels the playing field and gives them the opportunity to get jobs as well,” Ibarra said. “If we have a community of educated people who are working, we have a community of people who are thriving.”
Colin Cabral is the tutor at the Thursday sessions. He said it has been fulfilling to watch as students connect to the information that at one time might have intimidated them.
“It’s great because you give them the confidence to say, ‘This isn’t too hard, and here are the steps I can take to solve the problem,’” Cabral said. “Confidence has a lot to do with success, especially at early ages when it is so easy to get distracted by things outside of the classroom.”
Cabral cited two examples over the first few months that he said were reflective of the program’s effectiveness.
The first example was of a girl whose friend had failed a math class four times and she herself had failed it twice and was in danger of not graduating.
After several sessions, she was able to score a passing grade on a critical test, which gave her the confidence to pass the class and graduate.
A second example was of a student, a translator and a volunteer who all were able to learn some of the math being taught.
“We have students who come here and English is their second language, and math is a third language,” Cabral said. “But I feel that once they start learning and working with the numbers, they learn that math is a universal language.”
For more information about the classes, visit c2education.com.