Aardvarks Advocate for Skills & Knowledge (AASK)
AASK is an intentional multicultural learning community dedicated to the belief that education, intercultural competence, and a strong support system develop empowered and engaged students who are the keys to equity, justice and peace. It is a collaboration between Beaverton School District and Oregon Episcopal School.
Our tutoring coordinator, Maria McIvor, has supported the development of leadership skills for the Beaverton High School and Oregon Episcopal School students that have been involved in the twice a week tutoring of Whitford Middle School students. Student leaders from the Beaverton Oregon Episcopal Leadership Team (BOLT) have led peer trainings for tutors, created educational games, and tutored Whitford students. Maria has also worked jointly with Danica Jensen Weiner, the Beaverton School District AVID trainer, to select focus skills for these tutoring sessions. Maria described the AASK tutoring routine this way:
This routine is a modified version of the AVID tutoring program, which includes: notebook checks, taking Cornell notes based on articles from Action or Scope magazines, and identifying essential questions and summaries of topics covered during the sessions. Homework help is an essential component of our daily routine as well. Part of our weekly routine this year is to have multiple learning celebrations where students play Kahoot games using their BSD issued Chromebooks. These games reinforce new vocabulary and content from the articles they read. Amanda P. (from BHS), one of our most experienced tutors, spent a lot of time creating these Kahoot games for our Thursday learning celebrations. The students LOVED it…
Each summer the AASK program offers a day camp for Whitford Middle School students. Beaverton School District provides transportation and space for participating students and counselors to receive and support instruction. During our 2016 Summer Program we shifted from a thematically focused program to a focus on inquiry asking the question: what can we create? Each grade level approached the question differently:
- The three rising 6th and 7th grade classrooms investigated: how do we create a utopia?
- The rising 8th grade group explored the power of language by asking: what can our words create?
- The rising 9th grade group envisioned the pathways they will create towards high school and beyond.
The impact of this shift was profound. Our post camp survey showed that 36% of students would definitely participate in the summer day camp again and 55% are considering returning. This shows a potential return rate of 91%.
This is the power of the AASK program. It offers all participants ----- tutors, tutees, campers, counselors, and educators time to be in community. A community that knows, values, and celebrates all its members. A community that offers the opportunity to have fun and grow emotionally and academically. A community that shines a love light on everyone.