Federal Community Work-Study
Our Federal Community Work-study programs involve a partnership with local elementary schools in Parkland, Tacoma and Spanaway. The Center hires approximately 45 PLU students each academic year to tutor and mentor elementary school students. Students are paid through their federal work-study funds.
America Reads Literacy Program
Pacific Lutheran University America Reads is a program aimed at improving childhood literacy. America Reads was a grassroots national reading campaign enacted under President Clinton that encouraged all citizens to get involved in improving literacy across the country by helping children learn to read. Approximately 15-20 PLU students serve as America Reads tutors and dedicate over 1800 hours of tutoring to our local elementary schools every year.
PLU students work in four area elementary schools as part of the schools’ reading programs.
Big Buddies Mentoring Program
Big Buddies is an after school program that matches PLU students with a student from James Sales Elementary. The PLU mentors meet with their “Little Buddies” on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the school to do homework and play games in a supportive team environment.
The Big Buddies program at James Sales Elementary in Tacoma, Washington is sponsored and managed by the Center for Community Engagement and Service at Pacific Lutheran University in partnership with James Sales Elementary.
The program’s goal is to provide elementary school students with adult mentors and a structured after school program in order to facilitate both the academic and socio-developmental success of the Little Buddies in our program. Mentors are PLU students whose pay is funded through PLU’s Federal Community Service Work Study program. As part of their role, mentors help students with their homework, providing assistance in both literacy and math. They also provide a positive adult role model for the students, and the program itself provides a structured after-school time period where students are engaged in constructive, positive activities. Mentors are assigned to one student, and while the program takes place in a group setting, the time mentors spend with their students is focused one-on-one. This time provides crucial supplemental support to students who may not otherwise receive it.