Tutoring center brings learning alive for boy
Seven-year-old Ruvim Tochinskiy wrinkles his face in concentration as he tries to solve math problems with the help of a volunteer tutor. Somehow he's able to resist the distraction of his talkative older brother, Andriy.
The boys, part of a Ukrainian immigrant family of 10, seem happy to spend their afterschool hours in one of Neighborhood House's youth tutoring centers in Auburn.
"I don't think he's missed a day since the new year started," the program coordinator says. "At first he was hesitant. Now he's used to the routine. After doing his homework, he grabs a book and starts to read."
The extra help is paying off. According to the most recent evaluation by his teacher, Ruvim's reading fluency has jumped from 20 words per minute to 56 words.
Sofia, Ruvim's mom, says with a laugh that her children like the tutoring center so much they sometimes rush there without first checking in with her at home. She says she wants what every mother wants for her children: a good education and a good living.
Ruvim takes a break from reading "The Boxcar Children" to reflect on the importance of learning.
"If you don't go to school," he says, "you don't know how to do things."