During Spring and Fall, CentroNía’s gathering space best known as La Plaza fills up with energetic students who have just left school and are coming to continue learning at CentroNía’s Tutoring Program. The tutoring program is a one-on-one homework help and literacy-focused program that depends on dedicated volunteers who commit to weekly 2-hour sessions. Volunteers support students with their homework from class for some of the time, then the rest is spent using educational games and activities to build literacy skills.

Natzinet, one of the many talented volunteer tutors in the program waves at her student, Kayla, to come sit next to her so they can begin. They spend a couple minutes catching up on their day before diving into the lesson plan for the day.

Natzinet joined CentroNía as a volunteer tutor two years ago through American University’s DC Reads program. As a student herself, she is passionate about education and development. Natzinet wanted to tutor because it reinforces with students that it’s okay to ask for help and encourages them to embrace improvement. She enjoys seeing the kids smile and improve their literacy skills every day inspires her to do more for them and herself.

When Natzinet started tutoring at CentroNía she immediately felt a sense of community.  She says, “What I love about CentroNía is that although I am only involved with tutoring, I feel as though I am truly part of a strong community that works together to help each person.” Everyone is dedicated to providing resources and education to families in need. For her tutoring has become a way to help contribute her community.

CentroNía is a second home for Natzinet’s tutees. She believes the tight knit community helps the students’ stay engaged and strive for success. To reinforce this, she always wants make sure her students feel comfortable and supported by her. Every lesson is tailored each students’ individual needs.

A typical session starts with a recap of her students’ day and Natzinet tries to find a way to connect to their stories whether it be through the school work or on a personal level. This helps her connect with her students more intimately and builds a foundation of trust and mutual respect.

At CentroNía we are grateful to have dedicated tutors like Natzinet. Tutors like her continue to help students improve their literacy skills.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer tutor please fill out our volunteer form.