Tutor Connection Program Wins Service-Learning Awards

Sherry Freeborn, John Edwards and Michelle Bailow with their awards

The San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) Tutor Connection program and its program supervisor, Michelle Bailow, were both recently honored with service learning price from California State University, San Marcos (CSUSM).

Bailow received the Stellar Community Partner Award and the CSUSM School of Education received the Outstanding Service Learning Faculty Award for supporting the Tutor Connection program. John Edwards, student at CSUSM received the Trailblazing Student Leader of a Service Learning Course Project award for his course project with Tutor Connection. (Pictured L-R: Sherry Freeborn, John Edwards and Michelle Bailow with their awards.)

Tutor Connection is a community-based program that provides high quality tutoring to young people currently or previously in foster care in San Diego County. The program is run by the Foster Youth Services Coordinating Program (FYS) of the SDCOE.

“I’ve been running Tutor Connection for 15 years now and winning three awards in one year obviously makes me feel amazing,” Bailow said. “I am humbled and honored to be part of this program and the incredible team that supports this work, including the universities that have integrated this program into their courses. Besides the prizes, I am so proud of the students who work with these young people and who give their heart and soul every week throughout the semester.

Tutor Connection tutors are students enrolled in a teacher education course within the CSUSM’s College of Education.

“Tutor Connection is a program that has so many positive outcomes not only for youth in foster care, but also for future educators,” Bailow said.

The course is designed as a service-learning course, with tutoring being a component of community service-learning. Co-taught by a CSUSM professor and an FYS program staff member, the program includes instruction on tutoring from an educational setting and is supplemented with information on trauma, abuse, neglect, placement care, professional boundaries, behavior management, and laws related to the education of students in foster care.


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