On Tuesday, December 3, thirty-two Bowdoin College students working with the America Reads and Counts (ARAC) program participated in a fall group meeting led by McKeen Fellow Marcus Karim ’14 and McKeen Center assistant director Caitlin Callahan ’11. Designed to offer students an opportunity to gain firsthand experience within a classroom setting, the ARAC program allows Bowdoin students to work closely with classroom teachers to help local students reach their learning potential. This year, ARAC tutors have worked in wide variety of schools across the Greater Brunswick area, including Harriet Beecher Stowe Elementary, Coffin Elementary, Brunswick Junior High, Harpswell Community School, Bowdoinham Community School, Mt. Ararat Middle School, and Durham Community School.
During the meeting, ARAC tutors discussed the ever-expanding role of technology in shaping American classroom experiences. Tutors read articles focused on various models of technology-based learning, in addition to alternative, technology-free education opportunities. The tutors then connected the arguments presented in the articles with their own classroom experiences, with a special focus on how new technological advances relate to student learning and performance.
Tutors involved with the ARAC program help assist classroom teachers, whether by working one-on-one with students, in small groups, or as a resource for the whole classroom. Working with younger students in both math and reading, Bowdoin students are able to take part in supporting public education in midcoast Maine, serving as role models for younger students, and helping in the community. In addition, Bowdoin students benefit greatly from the opportunity to work alongside classroom teachers, who provide guidance and support. Many tutors also embrace the opportunity to learn more about midcoast Maine through their interactions in the schools.