The On Your Mark tutoring program provides one-to-one and small group tutoring for students of Portuguese and Spanish speaking descent in elementary and high school. The program is geared to students who are at lower levels of academic achievement, specifically students who are in the early grades (primary division) lagging behind in literacy and numeracy standards for their grades and students who are attending special education support services. This program works with students at crucial points in high school; at the transition years and towards the end, to prevent drop-out and encourage the pursuit of post-secondary education. On Your Mark tutors operate their tutoring sessions on a student-centered approach to learning; sessions are organized around the needs of the individual student. Apart from academics, tutoring sessions are based on mentoring, building self-esteem and fostering friendships. On Your Mark youth have an opportunity to discuss with their tutor their educational and career goals towards entering high school and pursuing post-secondary education. – On Your Mark operates during the school year within both the public and catholic school boards.
In 2009 we served over 300 students, worked with close to 200 volunteers, operated out of nine schools six days a week and welcomed students from 53 schools from both the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) and Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB).
See our FAQ’s for some more details on the program.
On Your Mark Mentoring Program
This component focuses on encouraging On Your Mark Participants to expand their circle of support by exposing them to University students and business professionals. It aims to encourage youth to become familiar with post secondary settings and works with parents to provide information and support regarding the school system.
Some of the activities are:
- Adopt-A-Student Day This event is held on the- same day as Take your kids to work day Grade 11-12 Portuguese high school youth are matched with a University mentor to shadow them for the day at the University of their choice. This year’s event, held on November 7th, had 63 high school students from 8 high schools in the community, both TDSB & TCDSB.
- Transitions Workshop for Youth for Grades 7-12 These workshops are provided to students regarding high school and post-secondary education and career options information. Guest speakers are invited to present to students- and parents on the importance of education and staying in school, referring to their own educational experience- they provide ideas of- how- to identify an educational and professional path. Guest Speakers have included: Suzy Soares, news reporter/host at OMNI Television, Josa Rodrigues, OMNI Television Reporter Tony Belas, president/owner of Ferma Foods; Tony Azevedo, lawyer for Azevedo & Nelson; Maggie Unsao, elementary school teacher. Parents are also encouraged to attend the workshop.
- Parent Workshops provide parents and guardians practical tools and methodology to support their child’s learning, how to work closely with the school system, understanding the Ontario elementary school and high school curriculum, methods and behaviours to facilitate the learning process.
This program relies on strong partnerships with:
- Toronto District School Board
- Toronto Catholic District School Board
- York University’s Teacher’s College Concurrent Program – ED I Community Field Placement
In October of 2006 The Working Women Community Centre partnered with York University and its Teacher’s College Concurrent Program. In our five years working with York University we have welcomed a total of 84 Teacher Candidates to work with the On Your Mark Tutoring Program. These Teacher Candidates act as supervisors at our On Your Mark after-school sites, were they are responsible for supervising the tutoring sessions, providing support to the tutors, their respective student(s) and parents. Teacher Candidates also play a vital role in program operations and help in researching, planning and developing lesson plans suited for each tutor and their respective student(s). We plan to continue our successful partnership with York University in the years to come, as it has enriched the continuing work of On Your Mark.
- University of Toronto – Concurrent Teacher Education Program
On Your Mark has welcomed over 20 U of T Concurrent Teacher Education Teacher Candidates as tutors in the program. Teacher Candidates, as part of their Equity and Diversity in Education course, offer 20-hours of field experience on-site at one of our many after-school and/or Saturday locations. As tutors, teacher candidates are directly involved with assisting On Your Mark students in their learning on a weekly basis. On Your Mark is proud to be involved in the preparation of future teachers in our schools, and influence their evolving teaching strategies as these experiences shape their future teaching careers.
- Frontier College
- Licensed to Learn (L2L)
- The Federation of Portuguese Canadian Business and Professionals (FPCBP)