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Bishop Scholars develop leadership skills and help local students

Ohio Wesleyan started the Bishop Scholars program with federal grant funding last year to help local elementary and middle schools following the pandemic.

The program provides tutoring in math and reading to kids at five elementary schools and one middle school in the Delaware and Columbus areas. Tutoring consists of approximately 30-minute sessions, three-days-a-week with an Ohio Wesleyan student tutor. Photo courtesy of

Seventy-five tutors served 219 kids for 2,029.25 hours last year, according to the Ohio Wesleyan Department of Education. The results were impressive. Ninety-seven percent of the students improved their math state test scores, and 90 percent improved their reading state test scores.

Kerri Robe, Ohio Wesleyan’s assistant program manager of Community Service Learning and overseer of the program, describes other goals of the program.

“We want to know we’ve made a positive impact on [the students] in several capacities, [not just] academically [but] socially…We want to see that holistically students are really thriving as a result of participating in our program.”

The program benefits the Ohio Wesleyan student tutors as well. Bishop Scholars is one way for education majors to gain real life experience teaching students.

Annika Pardee, a sophomore majoring in Inclusive Elementary Education, mentions how the program helped her with her major and her studies in general.

“It helped me…teach students, form a bond and look at how [the] curriculum is being taught for fourth and fifth grade students. But not only that,…I noticed a lot of times I would be very stressed or in my head, [and] always having Bishop Scholars to look forward to…took [away] stress from my academics.”

The program also helps unrelated majors meet other students on campus and develop useful career skills.

Marquel Henry, a senior majoring in Business Management and Black World Studies, said, “[The program] gave me a chance to be a better leader.”

Robe also mentions ways that non-education majors benefit from the program.

“…Students are doing it to improve [their] communication skills…[and] to be able to effectively work with youth…It is [also] a great resume builder.”

This year, the program is focusing on expanding their work in their current partner schools and making it so that the program will be sustainable even after the two-year grant money runs out.

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