University News

Tutoring program expands services, staff

Contributing Writer
Thursday, September 30, 2010

BearPaw Tutors, a tutoring company that employs Brown students, has grown in size, personnel and facilities recently, according to Co-founder and President Matthew Lent ’08.

BearPaw “used to be a much smaller, less organized program,” Lent said, adding that he hopes it will be “much more organized this semester.”

This year, the company increased its staff from one full-time employee for the entire company to six, Lent said, and moved into an office at 233 Thayer St.

In addition, BearPaw is working to gain publicity in the Providence community, Lent said. “We’ve decided that we really wanted to invest a lot in the fall — in getting the word out in the community, letting them know we are here.”

BearPaw was founded in 2006 by three Brown students as a private tutoring company and  expanded in 2008 to include a free tutoring program at Providence public schools, Lent said.

BearPaw also merged with another tutoring company, Eoseek, to provide a wider range of services, said Nicole Damari ’12, a BearPaw tutor. “It really seems like all the different people have come together this year,” she said.

The program employs Brown students as tutors to work one-on-one with elementary, middle and high students, according to Adam Rodriguez, BearPaw’s middle school program coordinator.

According to its website, BearPaw currently employs 21 tutors in the Providence area. The tutoring company has another branch in Washington, D.C., which employs students from George Washington and Georgetown universities.

All BearPaw tutors are paid for their time. According to Damari, some tutors can earn more based on a ranking system. At the end of lessons, students rank their tutors, and these scores are used to determine tutors’ bonuses.

BearPaw tutors “serve more as good role models than someone who just comes in and teaches a lesson,” Rodriguez said “We definitely expect them to be more than a tutor.”  

In addition to helping students with their school work, tutors are expected to do some type of mentoring activity with their tutees once a month.

Though BearPaw is completely independent of the University, Lent said part of the program’s strategy is to use Brown students and alums as much as possible. “The BearPaw name does convey that it’s related to the University, and we can back that up with the program,” he said.

“Brown students are really good role models for the kids,” said Rodriguez.

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