Jodie Simms, a senior at Hebron Academy, created a peer tutoring center at the school after being inspired by a project in her 11th grade English class.

The overall purpose of a peer tutoring center in an academic community is to create an environment where students can help their peers achieve their highest individual potential. Tutors can also help motivate their peers.

A tutoring center can benefit students in many ways. First, students who are reluctant to go to teachers may be more willing to talk to a peer to get the help they need. Second, if students who are influenced by the tutoring center are able to achieve their academic goals, they will feel a great sense of success. Third, tutors will feel that they are doing something worthwhile and giving something valuable to someone else. Finally, as a tutor works with a peer, his or her own grasp of the subject may increase.

At Hebron Academy, students who are interested in becoming tutors (typically juniors and seniors) apply to participate in the program. There are currently 11 tutors, which is a substantial number considering Hebron’s size (about 200 students in the upper school). Tutors must be able to commit at least one free period (or one hour) per week.

Hebron students in grades 9-12 are welcome to contact the center when they need help in a subject. A time and place will be arranged for them to meet with a tutor.

Far from being a “hang out,” the peer tutoring center is a quiet place where students can share ideas or join discussions and help one another academically. Students who use the center must want to learn and be willing to be taught.

Hebron’s program is still in its beginning stages, so it is hard to measure its results. But it is designed to be a place where students feel like they can celebrate their knowledge, a place where it is comfortable to ask for help and a place that benefits all who are involved.

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