Washington Mentor Program (partnership with WHHS)

West Haven High School upperclassmen have been visiting Washington since November 2013 in a structured tutoring program that uses resources the district already has—bright and caring WHHS students—and gives elementary kids extra one-on-one instruction.

The Washington Mentoring Program assists Washington youngsters in reading, writing, math and other classroom projects . At the same time, the nearly 30 WHHS students volunteering in the program are racking up credentials for college applications and earning valuable, real-world experience.

Many of the tutors were recruited from WHHS child development classes and have an interest in working with children someday in a teaching capacity, and others joined simply to have a rewarding and fun community service experience, according to WHHS School Counseling Department Chair Rose Paolino, who created the program with Washington special education teacher Patricia Hamilton.

The teens have had an impact in other ways outside of just academics; some are paired with particular students if they both speak a second language, and others have helped new students feel more comfortable with their class.

They have typically visited a few times a month and take a school bus or drive to Washington after their school day ends, as Washington is still in session at that time.