SUPPORT OUR STUDENTS

Funding for the program comes from a range of supporters, including Brown Memorial. Eighty percent is raised through generous donations from individuals and foundations committed to advancing literacy and helping the children of Baltimore City succeed.

Consider volunteering to tutor. Tutors commit roughly 90 minutes a week during the public school year. Come visit us to experience the joy and magic that occurs daily.

Get Involved

For more information about becoming a volunteer tutor, making a donation or to learn about others ways to support the program, please contact Martha Socolar, Program Director, at (410) 523-1542, ext.17, or email her at martha.socolar@comcast.net.

Our Leadership

The Brown Memorial Tutoring Program is a nonsectarian program overseen by a Commission (or Board).

commission

  • Diana Cohen
  • Carol Graves
  • Lisa Hoffberger (chair)
  • Coppie MacFarlane
  • David Nyweide
  • Mary Obrecht
  • Liz Pope
  • John Ramsay
  • Becky Thomson
  • Ellen Tiano
  • Jenny Williams

staff

Martha Socolar, Director

Amy Munds, Assistant Director

Jigger Kratz – Connecting with Kids for Three Decades

 

It started with a casual question from a neighbor. “Do you want to go tutor?”

With her own children in school, Jigger Kratz accepted the offer and went to the Brown Memorial Tutoring Program. There she met Tasha, a 1st grader, and they began working together on reading. “Off I went and I loved it.”

The year was 1984.

Thirty-one years later, Jigger is still at it, never missing a year and once again this fall she will be serving as a volunteer tutor in the program. Over those three decades, she’s tutored more kids than she can count, working with some for a year, others for a couple of years.

The program, which has existed for more than 50 years, provides one-on-one tutoring in reading, writing and other skills to children from three Baltimore City public schools.

Volunteers like Jigger are the program’s backbone. Each works with one or more children throughout the school year, providing a reliable adult presence in lives that are often unpredictable and difficult.

Jigger has learned how to work well with the kids she tutors. She realized that her first student, Tasha, arrived at the program without having any breakfast. “She was so hungry and couldn’t do any work,” she remembers. Jigger started bringing in a piece of fruit each week.

She recalls the students who had aha moments about the “magic e” (that turns preceding vowels from short to long) or the one whose eyes widened when she explained what math division is – “opposite of multiplication.” She’s helped coax shy kids into performing in short plays – after writing their own scripts. And she’s learned that sometimes what her tutee needs most is simply time and space to take a nap.

Jigger has contributed in many ways to the success of the Tutoring Program. She has served on its advisory board and recruited a dozen new tutors, including several from her church, Emmanuel Episcopal.

And each year, she buys a bag full of Santa hats to give one to each kid; at Mother’s Day, she brings in flowering plants and soil to put in mugs for the kids to put together a plant to take home.

“The kids are proud of themselves for what they do for Mother’s Day,” she says.

The Tutoring Program, she says, plays a vital role. Baltimore has so many problems and there are no easy answers,” Jigger says. “This is something I can do that really has an impact on these children’s lives.”

Aside from the reading instruction, the program provides other key benefits — pride, confidence and satisfaction – key building blocks for any healthy child. “The program’s benefits are subtle in some ways. The testing doesn’t show everything the kids get out of it. It’s been exceedingly rewarding for me as well.”

Return to Tutoring Program main page. 

SUPPORT OUR STUDENTS

Funding for the program comes from a range of supporters, including Brown Memorial. Eighty percent is raised through generous donations from individuals and foundations committed to advancing literacy and helping the children of Baltimore City succeed.

Consider volunteering to tutor. Tutors commit roughly 90 minutes a week during the public school year. Come visit us to experience the joy and magic that occurs daily.

Get Involved

For more information about becoming a volunteer tutor, making a donation or to learn about others ways to support the program, please contact Martha Socolar, Program Director, at (410) 523-1542, ext.17, or email her at martha.socolar@comcast.net.

Our Leadership

The Brown Memorial Tutoring Program is a nonsectarian program overseen by a Commission (or Board).

commission

  • Diana Cohen
  • Carol Graves
  • Lisa Hoffberger (chair)
  • Coppie MacFarlane
  • David Nyweide
  • Mary Obrecht
  • Liz Pope
  • John Ramsay
  • Becky Thomson
  • Ellen Tiano
  • Jenny Williams

staff

Martha Socolar, Director

Amy Munds, Assistant Director