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Wilson College Students Volunteer with After-School Program

Posted: April 6, 2011

4/6/2011 In partnership with the Lincoln Intermediate Unit, Wilson College has launched an after-school tutoring program for children in the LIU’s migrant education program.
DATE: April 6, 2011
CONTACT: Cathy Mentzer, Manager of Media Relations
Phone: 717-264-4141, Ext. 3178

CHAMBERSBURG, PA – In partnership with the Lincoln Intermediate Unit, Wilson College has launched an after-school tutoring program for children in the LIU’s migrant education program. The two-month program, which serves about 28 children in kindergarten through 5th grade, began on March 1 and is held for one hour for four days a week.

Dr. Lynn Newman, Wilson assistant professor of education, and Eric Mandell, LIU student support specialist, oversee the program with site coordinator Samantha Vance. Until March, the program had been held at a local church for the past 15 years. When Mandell learned that the church could no longer house the program, Newman expressed interest in bringing the program to Wilson and received approval from college administrators.

The after-school program is housed in Wilson’s Harry R. Brooks Complex for Science, Mathematics and Technology. About 30 Wilson students, staff and others volunteer on a regular basis, according to Newman.

“The program is doing extremely well and both the tutors and students love their time together,” she said. “I have been extremely proud of our Wilson students and their dedication, passion and leadership in signing up for dates and making sure they are there on time, working hard with their students.”

Mandell is grateful to Newman and Wilson for hosting the program, which he hopes will be held on the campus again next fall.

“We had a program, but we needed a new home,” he said. “We wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the Wilson College community.”

Wilson tutors help children with homework, as well as with their reading and math skills. Many of the children are English as a Second Language (ESL) students whose families come from places like Mexico, Puerto Rico, Guatemala and Haiti, according to Mandell.

A few Wilson professors have made volunteering a requirement of their classes, but many students simply choose to volunteer, including Ben Gates, a junior who changed his major from sociology to education as a result of the program.

“I came in one time and I really liked it,” said Gates. “I like working with the kids. They’re a lot of fun and I feel like many of them are coming a long way.”

Another student, junior Alicia Mills, is majoring in environmental sustainability and volunteers because of a conversational Spanish class she is taking.

“I love it,” Mills said. “What I try to do is work with each particular student’s needs. I like to see the impact from one week to the next.”

In addition to helping the children, the tutoring program also provides experience for Wilson students who are majoring in education.

Mandell said he appreciates the college’s commitment to experiential learning, as well as service learning.

“A lot of places talk the talk but they don’t walk the walk,” he said. “Wilson College walks the walk.”

The tutoring program ends April 28.

For more information about the tutoring program, contact Newman at or 717-264-4141, Ext. 3398.


Wilson is an independent college with a proud history of educating women since 1869 through rigorous study of the liberal arts and sciences. Today, Wilson’s mission also includes women and men enrolled in adult degree and graduate programs. Guided by its Honor Principle and distinguished by a commitment to transformative student growth, Wilson College prepares all of its graduates for fulfilling lives and professions, ethical leadership and humane stewardship of our communities and our world.

Wilson, which is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church and located in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, offers bachelor’s degrees in 30 fields, teacher certification for college graduates and a master’s degree in education. This year, Wilson enrolled nearly 800 students from 21 states and 13 foreign countries.

Last Updated: June 30, 2011