Striders Corner – December 2012


Dianne at FletcherChautauqua Striders continues to grow and change with the needs of children, youth, and their families in Chautauqua County. Following this trend, academic tutoring has branched out considerably. While offering programs in every Jamestown school, there are also successful collaborations with many other districts designed to enhance scholastic success for students from kindergarten through high school, including Brocton, Fredonia, Panama, Ripley, Sherman, Silver Creek, and Westfield. Each program is unique, striving to meet the needs of a variety of students, but each has a strong foundation in common core educational standards. Call 488-2203 or visit for more detailed information.

Lighted Schoolhouse tutoring is located at Chautauqua Striders’ main office and is primarily for senior high school students, and is offered at no cost. Open to anyone, regardless of district, adolescents in grades 9-12 have the opportunity to receive help with homework, complete projects, hone their study skills, and get the extra help they need to navigate the New York State Regents requirements. According to one mother, “I knew the moment my daughter got in the car (after receiving assistance for her physics course), she felt better.” Tutors, experts in their fields and dedicated to student success, are available Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm, and again Tuesday and Thursday evenings, 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. They provide the one-on-one assistance, study tips, and encouragement many students need in order to do their best.

Lighted Schoolhouse tutors also have a strong connection to both the YMCA Teen Center and Chautauqua Opportunities Safe House, providing a structured environment for study and an opportunity for individual growth. Connected by a common doorway, those students gathering in the Teen Center who have homework or need to study for tests are encouraged to attend tutoring. Director, John Barber, works collaboratively with Chautauqua Striders to ensure there is a safe and structured, fun and academically enriching place to go after the regular school day ends.

Furthering its commitment to academic success, Chautauqua Striders is partnering with Jamestown Community College, to provide high school juniors and seniors in Jamestown, Brocton, Dunkirk, Olean, Salamanca, and the Gustavus Adolphus Learning Center, who are moving on to post-secondary education, an opportunity to participate in college test preparation workshops. Chautauqua Striders is providing an academic mentor at each site to help students navigate through high school and assist them in developing a personal plan for the future. The goal of this collaboration is to “promote academic excellence and a college-going culture which will stimulate economic development and improve the quality of life for residents.” Contact Chautauqua Striders at 488-2203 for further information.

There is no age too early for becoming accustomed to receiving academic assistance – getting help is a good thing! With that in mind, Chautauqua Striders offers CARE (Community Academics Reaching Everyone) tutoring, specifically designed for students in grades K-8. This program is held Tuesday and Thursday afternoons in Chautauqua Striders’ main office; enrollment is open to students from any local school district. Most students come for one-hour tutoring sessions between 3:30 pm and 5:30 pm. Two very experienced, knowledgeable, and caring tutors make after school learning exciting and rewarding. While parents are asked to supply study materials or have their children bring homework, there is no cost for the program. As youth move from middle to high school, many make a comfortable transition from CARE to high school tutoring. Contact Julie Dudgeon at 488-203 for further details.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Jamestown and Dunkirk also partner with Chautauqua Striders to make after school academic help available. In Jamestown, the club offers tutoring to all students, grades 7-12, Monday through Wednesday, 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm. In Dunkirk, the days and hours are Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm and Thursday from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm. Again, youth have the opportunity to relax and unwind after school and still get that little bit of extra direction and information needed for educational success. Students are asked to join the Boys & Girls Clubs, (scholarships are available), but once they are members, there are no additional tutoring costs. In Jamestown, call Pam Gustafson at 488-2203 for information; in Dunkirk, Michele Starwalt at 363-2203.

Finally, Chautauqua Striders works in conjunction with the Eastside Family YMCA to offer academic assistance after school. Its unique location has established Eastside as a growing community center for the Hispanic/Latino population in Jamestown. Elementary children are able to receive academic support from Chautauqua Striders Monday through Thursday. The Middle School Academy has been established for older students and they are required to attend twice weekly, but many choose to attend on a daily basis. Bilingual tutors help those new to the area make the adjustment to academic expectations in New York State, while reinforcing skills and offering encouragement and support.

For more information on community tutoring programs in southern Chautauqua County, call 488-2203 and in northern county areas, call 363-2203. Online, log onto for a general programming overview. Chautauqua Striders is available to help!