Parents looking to give their children an advantage in the classroom toured a new tutoring center on Madison Street last weekend as part of the grand opening festivities for the newest branch of Sylvan Learning.
The nationally franchised company spent several months renovating a storefront at 7217 Madison St. so it could relocate an existing facility at the nearby Rush Oak Park Hospital. The work is complete and community members, including the mayor, turned out on Saturday to welcome a new addition to the business corridor.
“I think our new location is going to be better for us,” Center Director Judy Pike said. “We’re more visible.”
Sylvan Learning has more than 1,100 tutoring centers in the U.S. and Canada, according to the company’s website, and specializes in delivering individualized academic assistance. According to Pike, parents interested in enrolling a child need to bring their son or daughter in for an assessment that will take several hours. Once the tests are complete the results will be reviewed to determine those areas where extra help is needed.
Typically, students attend classes at Sylvan for two hours at a time, three times a week. When possible, tutors will meet monthly with the child’s classroom teacher. At any given time, roughly 100 kids in grades K-12 were enrolled in tutoring programs when the facility was located at the hospital. Services are also available for adults.
“The biggest problem we see in our neighborhood is trouble with math,” Pike said. “That seems to be universal. And there’s usually trouble with study skills.”
Pike said her office has no formal relationship with the Forest Park school district, but has worked with individual teachers. District 91 does provide free tutoring services. Students at Field-Stevenson Elementary who miss more than 10 days of school qualify to be tutored in their home.