Thank you for taking the time to volunteer with the Winton Place Youth Center. We believe your volunteer experience will be enjoyable and memorable for both you and the students you interact with.

WPYC Mission and Goals

Winton Place Youth Center serves the children of Cincinnati’s Spring Grove neighborhood. We offer a caring and safe atmosphere and the skilled intervention of professionals and volunteers. The children in our program progress academically, socially, and personally. Our goal is to make a positive difference in the lives of these children, both now and for the future. We focus on the development of the whole child. We offer homework assistance, counseling and peer groups. We also focus on prevention education, to give the children the skills they need to stay safe and drug-free. We teach how to avoid abusive situations by helping our children practice effective refusal skills.

Order of the day
Since we have students coming from many different schools, they do not all arrive at the same time. We work on a revolving schedule:
• Snack
• Academic Work
• Character Development, Arts and Crafts and/or Free Time Activities

What to anticipate about kids’ behaviors
Kids will be kids. Most of our kids are very willing to sit down and get to work. There are a few that are a little more reluctant. The main key to success is patience. Keeping them focused and on task is imperative to getting the academic work done.
Some specific behaviors you may encounter:
• Talking with other students
• Getting frustrated with the work
• Being distracted by other students
• Refusing to do work
• Getting out of their seats
• Working hard
• Focusing on their work
• Responding well to the help/assistance/one on one attention
• Eager to learn and master the skills/tasks

How to respond to behaviors
Reward and praise is always more effective than punishment. Try to praise and reward the students for anything you can. Even if they are not doing everything you want them to, if they are staying in their seat, acknowledge that and praise that behavior. Praise them for getting questions correct or for asking good questions.
In response to negative behaviors, give them clear instructions to change their behavior. For example, instead of saying, “Hey John it would be great if you could sit down”, try to say, “John, you need to sit in your seat”. Once they follow the command, you can praise and compliment them for listening and following directions. Behaviors such as name calling, teasing, fighting, hitting, etc. need to be strongly discouraged. If any of these behaviors occur or problems persist, contact a staff member to address the problem.

One of the most important things to keep in mind about negative behaviors in particular, is that it is not your fault!
There are several reasons kids might exhibit some of these negative behaviors.
• Do they know how to do the work in front of them? – For many children, it is easier to act out than to ask for help when they do not understand something.
• Sleep – We do not know how much sleep these children are getting at home. It is also important to keep in mind that these kids have been sitting in school all day and then come to our program and are expected to continue working on academics. This makes for a very long day for these kids.
• Eating Habits – While we try to give the kids nutritious snacks at the beginning of the program, this does not make up for any meals they do not receive at home or school. This could cause behavior problems or concentration issues.
• Medication – Some of our students are on medication and some are not. These medications are made to last from the beginning of the school day to the end of the school day, so by the time they get to the center, the medications are wearing off and the normal side effects of that are coming to the surface such as tiredness, moodiness, etc.
Guidelines for tutors
➢ All volunteers must pass a Hamilton County background check. This check is paid for by the center.

➢ Anytime you come in to volunteer, you need to sign in. The sign in sheets are located in the black volunteer binder on Jason’s desk.

➢ In accordance with WPYC policy, an adult staff member must be present with tutors and students at all times.

➢ If you must miss a day you are scheduled to tutor, please let Terry know as soon as possible. Contact Terry Davis, [email protected] or 513-681-8004.

➢ Attendance is very important and much appreciated. Having tutors work one on one with these kids serves a few different purposes. First, it gives the students an opportunity to have someone’s undivided attention focused on them and their academic needs. This is a helpful tool for many students to learn concepts or skills they are struggling with. Also, by tutoring these children, you are becoming a constant adult role model in their lives. This is imperative because some of these kids have very few if any constant adult role models to bond with and look up to.

➢ Due to the structure and set up of our building, voices and noise seem to travel. Please use low voices and whispers when working with students as to not distract the other tutors or students.

➢ Please keep in mind that you are here not only as a tutor, but also as a leader and a role model. Please keep these things in mind while interacting with the kids, the staff, and each other.

➢ Math is the main subject we have been focusing on. Many students will ask you for a calculator and tell you they are allowed to use one. Do not allow a child to use a calculator unless it is specifically printed in the instructions on the homework or work sheet.