Who We Are
The Swearer Classroom Program is a group of Brown University students dedicated to improving literacy skills in local, Providence elementary school students. We partner with teachers at William D'Abate Elementary and Asa Messer Elementary at Bridgham. 

Our Goals
The Swearer Classroom Program strives to improve literacy skills in elementary school children. Volunteers work in small groups or individually with children who are struggling with the reading and writing curriculum, and the individualized help allows more time for discussion and questions about troubling topics. 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 Asa Messer Elementary at Bridgham 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.

Your Commitment:
  • Visit your assigned classroom weekly as scheduled. This includes: arriving on time, signing in at the front desk, and spending at least an hour in the classroom.
  • Attend small group sessions weekly to discuss your experiences with other volunteers. 
  • Participate in mandatory trainings as scheduled throughout the semester.