The SET (Saturday Enrichment and Tutorial) program relaunched virtually this winter. SET is a tuition-free academic enrichment program whose goal is to improve English literacy skills for local first through fourth grade students. One of RCDS’s signature Public Purpose programs, SET is designed to give local public school students extra support during the school year and improve their reading and writing skills.
To reimagine the program in a new virtual format, seven SET student leaders in the Upper School worked with faculty director Jennifer Doran and RCDS Librarians Kimberly Love and Jennifer DeVito to digitize materials and develop a new virtual curriculum. A significant adjustment was breaking up learning groups by skill set rather than grade. In addition, the SET leaders decided to organize their curriculum and book selection based on monthly themes: Love (January), Gratitude (February), and Community (March). All the SET tutors or mentors have extensive in-person tutoring experience, and their recent experience as hybrid learners along with their consultation with Lower School faculty helped them create exciting and engaging virtual lesson plans.
We are all so delighted to be supporting these children on their reading journey during these unprecedented times—from designing virtual curriculum to teaching how to be confident readers. Our student teachers and volunteers show up every Saturday morning on Zoom excited to connect with each and every child enrolled in the program. For us, it’s the small group instruction and one-to-one interactions that make this program so unique! — Jennifer Doran, MS and US Science Teacher; Faculty SET Director
Weekly SET tutoring sessions will run via Zoom through March 6, and parents and guardians are welcome to take English classes virtually at the same time. The adult ELL (English Language Learners) program is taught by a team of RCDS faculty, staff, parents, and students, and it is also offered at no charge.
The SET program gives RCDS students firsthand experience as community partners, educators, and collaborators as they build meaningful connections across districts and communities. This year, perhaps more than ever, the community connections and academic support provided by SET are critical.