suzanne-keller-gwendolyn-loveThe SOURCE director Suzanne Keller and Lunch Break exec director Gwendolyn Love are pictured at the launch of the expanded Red Bank Regional Community Tutoring Program at Lunch Break.

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

This school year, the Red Bank based nonprofit Lunch Break has graciously offered its facility to the Red Bank Regional High School District, for the expansion of its popular Community Peer Tutoring Program. Dedicated to a mission of “Removing all obstacles that impede a students’ academic success,” the program is operated by The SOURCE, RBR’s School Based Youth Services Program.

Fifty freshmen will meet at the newly renovated Lunch Break dining room every Tuesday and Thursday from 6 to 7:30 p.m., for homework help with their teachers. RBR upper classmen from the school’s National Honor Societies, Key Club and International Baccalaureate program also provide tutoring support for the students under the teachers’ supervision.

lunch-break-rbr-sunny-lenhardRed Bank Regional math teacher Sunny Lenhard tutors RBR freshmen in a special community evening tutoring program at Lunch Break in Red Bank. Lunch Break was gracious to offer the space to the high school for this purpose.  

On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, at the same time, a similar number of sophomores will also meet at the River Street Commons Community room for the same purpose. The River Street Commons Senior Residence has been accommodating their hometown high school’s needs since the inception of the program three years ago. The request to expand the program, according to SOURCE Director Suzanne Keller, came from a survey administered to last year’s freshmen on the effectiveness of the program.

The program idea originated with RBR teacher Sunny Lenhard, who felt some students were missing out on the extra help RBR offered its student body during the school day (at study hall and hunch) and directly after school. She approached the Source to see if they could help.

As Ms. Keller elaborates, Ms. Lenhard “realized that some kids were unable to take advantage of our school’s programs due to other responsibilities and obligations. Some played sports directly after school while others went to part-time jobs or cared for younger siblings.”

“Holding this tutoring session in their community during dinner time, allowed them, in most cases, to walk to the locations or take a late bus directly to it.  Some students even brought their younger siblings along with the expectation that they too would do their homework. The SOURCE provides dinner for everyone.”

The program helps to develop good study habits as well as comprehensive reading strategies, critical thinking skills and organizational skills in English, Science, and predominantly Math. However, according to Ms. Keller, it provides far more than academic support.

“Everything in educational research suggests that a students’ success is about building relationships,” she states. “That is what we do. We build a relationship with the students who are coming to a caring and safe place.”