Millersville Takes A Different Approach To Learning

By Maggie Dubbs and Austin Rowley

“It’s actually kind of cliche to say but, the kid’s teach us,” said Jocelyn Lurie, vice-president of the Student Pennsylvania State Education Association (SPSCA) club at Millersville University.

Millersville University has set up a program called “Study Buddies” where children from all over Lancaster County including Penn Manor can come on to the campus Monday and Tuesday nights, and receive teacher-in-training help with their homework or studies.

(From left to right) President Amy DaJazak, and two Vice Presidents.

These college students are usually in their junior or senior year of college and hoping to go out into the elementary education field. But, this program is not only offered to elementary school children, it is offered kindergarten through 12th grade.

Some, however, find that by doing this, it helps them decide specifically what grade or even what levels of children they will be working with.

“I actually started out in elementary education, but then moved to special education,” said Derick Tilburg, senior college student.

At these sessions, students arrive around six at night, and check in on a sign in sheet. At this point, students then file off with their “buddies” into a large group room or into more secluded rooms depending on concentration issues. Then the students pull out their homework for that night or other materials and work one-on-one with the college students.

Also the college setting allow students to use other resources such as the college’s computers to assist in studying.

Janice Di Ilio, a grandmother with  grandchildren in the Lancaster School District, said that she hopes to see her two granddaughters benefit from this by helping them to focus and prepare them with materials for what they’re doing academically. She said her daughter signed her children up for this program to help them work on their studies, and use their communication skills. Also to see how the college students handled themselves.

Working on study skills with the children are an important part of this program.

“She thought it would be better since the college kids are younger, they would find more comfort in explaining their problems to a younger kid, and be more comfortable talking to them,” said Ilio.

There are no profits being made off of Study Buddies, but president Amy DaJazak hopes to continue the Study Buddies tradition now going on for 21 years.

“It helps our students gain experience, and with the budget cuts there’s not enough room for students to get the help they need,” said DaJazak.