Who We Are
The Swearer Classroom Program is a group of Brown University students dedicated to working with local, Providence elementary school students at William D'Abate Elementary and Mary E. Fogarty.
The Swearer Classroom Program strives to improve specifically literacy and math skills in elementary school children. Volunteers work once a week for an hour in small groups or individually with children who are struggling with the curriculum, and the individualized help allows more time for discussion and questions about troubling topics. This is done inside the classroom, so the teacher can specifically guide the volunteer to meet the needs of those students. Through the volunteers’ weekly commitment for a semester or academic year, the children receive and benefit from consistent support.
The program also aims to assist the classroom teachers by providing their students with specialized attention that they themselves are unable to realistically give during the school day. Additional classroom assistants work with smaller groups of children on the daily lesson and provide support for the teachers during the district's recent transition to a new elementary reading curriculum. Some tutors work in bilingual or ESL (English as a Second Language) classrooms and instruct in Spanish and English.
Through engaging teaching, SCP fosters relationships between Brown students and the children at both Mary E. Fogarty and William D’Abate Elementary. The volunteers learn about themselves as teachers and connect with the children who truly appreciate their presence. These relationships also enable volunteers to gain a greater perspective on the state of education in Providence and reflect on their experiences through group discussions throughout the year.