An Opportunity to Help Young Neighbors

5th grade students Nicholas and Amahji, and tutor, Joy Dryden (in the background) at Bridge the Gap | photo by Bonnie Kirkpatrick | story by Joy Dryden
Volunteer Opportunities: Monday-Thursdays—afternoon classroom support is especially needed—3:30pm (2:30pm on Wednesdays). Or evening one-on-one support from 6:30-7:30 p.m.  For more details, please visit Bridge the Gap — Volunteers.

Did you know that you can help some of the children who live in Marin City to get to college? And it won’t cost you a dime, only your time and knowledge.

For a couple hours each week, all you need to do is to head on over to Bridge The Gap College Prep (BTGCP) at 105 Drake Ave. and be willing to patiently sit with a student (grades 4th to 8th) and help them to do a project directed by the classroom teacher, or to do their homework. The afterschool program is for two hours Monday through Thursday right after school. Each grade has a classroom with a teacher and 6-7 students. The teachers need tutors to work individually with the students. You only have to commit to one day a week, but you are welcome to come more often.

I’ve been tutoring for the after school program for quite a few years and have found it to be rewarding for both me and the students. These students come because they or their parents want them there. It is not like school where they have to be there. This is a good chance to help them in a more informal atmosphere than at school and to give them some one-to-one attention and some help that they may not get at home. I love to see their eyes light up when they finally understand a math concept, or get into reading a book out loud.

You don’t need to be a math expert or genius in writing, you just need to have patience and respect for these young learners and be willing to learn along with them.

I hope you will consider joining me in this rewarding and gratifying service to our community. To learn more, visit the online page Volunteering at Bridge the Gap or call (415) 339-9411.

by  Joy Dryden, West Pier


Marin City is a small, resilient but underserved community nestled among the more affluent towns of Marin County, CA. Bridge the Gap was founded 23 years ago to close the achievement gap of students by providing 1 to 1 and small-group tutoring and mentoring services for students in grades 1 – 12.  Today, Bridge the Gap College Prep’s mission is to provide compressive educational support for Marin City students with the goal that every Marin City student completes high school and graduates from college. Since adding college success to our mission and name 6 years ago, 100% of our high school seniors have graduated and enrolled in college/post-secondary education. They are truly beating the odds, since, on average, only 46% of students from low-income families enroll in higher education immediately after high school (according to U.S. Census Bureau data). Bridge the Gap College Prep volunteers and supporters are the backbone and heart behind this transformative change.

Bonnie Kirkpatrick, Director of Development & Communications at Bridge the Gap College Prep.
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