When (college) students become the teachers

With 90% of the brain developing by age five, the early education work being done in child care centers across Austin has never been more important. Now is the time to make the most impact on the lives of children. Each child is a brick in the foundation of our community, our future workforce and beyond – and it’s important to ensure that all children have the same opportunity to receive a high-quality and compassionate early education. And that’s where our revamped tutoring program comes in. 

Six college-aged tutors are making an impact in the lives of Pre-K aged children at two pilot campuses in Austin – Zavala and Galindo Elementary.

“Right now, as college students, we realize the importance of education, and we know that these students are just starting out. We have the ability to help them not fall behind,” David, first-year Tutor said. “Once you get behind it’s a lot harder to catch up, and so it’s better to invest and make an impact now.”

Tutors will work with the Pre-K aged kids to develop language skills throughout the school year through the Developing Talkers curriculum. The program uses dialogic reading, an interactive reading technique that involves engaging the child in conversation about the book in order to develop a wider vocabulary, improve verbal skills and more. But most importantly the tutors are developing relationships and a level of trust that allows them to grow the minds of these young learners.

“A lot of people say children are the future, and I really think that’s true because they are young and have their whole life in front of them,” Cecelia, first time Tutor and University of Texas student said. “I just want to be able to help give them all the opportunities so that they aren’t ever restricted.”

Meet the terrific Tutors:

Name: Adrian Gonzalez

Year: Senior

Major: Sociology

Fun Fact: I’ve been riding motorcycles since I was a kid.





Name: Cecilia Nguyen

Year: Freshman

Major: Psychology, but hoping to transfer into the School of Education

Fun Fact: I’ve gone snorkeling on a cruise to Cozumel, Mexico.





Name: Cindy Popa

Year: Senior

Major: Psychology with a Certificate in Children and Society

Fun Fact: I love Wing Stop so much that I have a tradition of eating their hot wings every Friday.





Name: David Segura

Year: Senior

Major: Marketing

Fun Fact: I was a state soccer champ my junior year of high school.





Name: Jenny Cheng

Year: Junior

Major: Psychology with a Certificate in Pre-Health

Fun Fact: I was voted “Most Likely to Forget Their Kid at H-E-B” for a cultural org on campus, but rest assured I would never leave behind other’s kids!




Name: Joey Lopez

Year: Freshman

Major: Biology with a minor in kinesiology and disability studies.

Fun Fact: I have been playing the saxophone since I was 10!

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