"Waiting for Superman?" Educational Tutorial Services Bridges the Learning Gap for Foster Children

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Intensive Tutoring: A Foster Child's Educational Right

Davis Guggenheim, writer of “Waiting for Superman” reveals in his recent film that the superheroes we’ve all been waiting for to save our schools are all around us. Yes this is true. Taking this one step further, what about the superheroes needed to save our over half a million foster children who live in the United States? “Save them” in terms of providing them with the educational opportunities they deserve. Foster children are often overlooked in the educational system that exists today, and yet, they are the segment in most dire need of “superheroes”. Educational Tutorial Services provides intensive tutoring to foster children on a nationwide basis, and they help to bridge the learning gap that foster children too often experience. Foster children typically can change schools as many as 8-12 times throughout their educational career. Many times because of this, there is an untimely transfer of records, which results in an incorrect assessment of educational ability and inappropriate placement. For example, about 50% of foster children in the U.S. are in special education classes and shouldn’t be. Most are not slow learners, they have just been pushed through the system without appropriate assessments and without the tutoring needed to help them.

Educational Tutorial Services exists as the liaison between the social service agency and the school district, ensuring that foster children receive appropriate assessments and all of the educational resources available to them, namely intensive tutoring and academic remediation. A fact that has not been conveyed enough… It is a foster parents right to have tutoring services provided for their child. Most importantly, it is their child’s right. Case managers will often assist parents in finding a tutor, and more times than not, this tutoring can be provided for the child at no cost to the parent. The child’s individual needs will be assessed. The intensive tutoring provided may be up 10 8-10 hours per week depending on their child’s needs. Foster parents are encouraged to take the first step and contact their case manager, letting them know that they wish to have tutoring for their foster child.

Recently a segment aired from The Balancing Act, a Lifetime network national program, which featured Ms. Lisa Russell, Executive Director of Educational Tutorial services. This segment is entitled “Strategies to Close the Learning Gap that Affects Children in Foster Care” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhqFMQFMX-8. This is an important interview for case managers, and foster parents to see. It is an important discussion concerning how this learning gap is bridged. It also provides a step by step guide mapping out what foster parents and case managers can do to provide foster children with the educational opportunities they deserve. Anyone with further questions should feel free to contact Ms. Russell directly at lrussell@educationaltutorialservices.com. Please view and share the link to anyone instrumental in a foster child’s future. The positive difference intensive tutoring makes in a foster child’s life will stay with them for a lifetime. The company website is http://www.educationaltutorialservices.com.

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Lisa Russell
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