GETTING TUTOR JOB TRAINING BY BEING TUTORED AT “THE WRIGHT TO DREAM LITERACY CAMP.” Each summer at Cesar Chavez High School, a Title One High School, entering freshmen students participate in a tutoring program in reading and writing, “The Wright to Dream Literacy Camp,” the week before school starts. Because the “Coaching Literacy” program is a simple program that is almost self-instructional, students who are tutored in the program have the job training to tutor other students in reading and writing with this program.

For the last three years, students at the camp were given a free paper copy of the “Coaching Literacy” program. Next summer, all students will be given a free copy of the “Coaching Literacy” program on software. This software program will have animations and audio explanations that will make tutoring reading and writing even easier.

Each year at “The Wright to Dream Literacy Camp,” Make a Difference Foundation pays the tutors, provides free lunches at the camp for all of the students, and gives each student a literacy camp tee shirt.

Students who have participated in the literacy camp have been hired to be tutors at the following literacy camps. In addition Make a Difference Foundation has donated money and secured funding for Cesar Chavez High School to pay students to tutor other students in reading and writing at the school. This funding provides more jobs for teenagers who are residents of low-income households. This provides more jobs for teenagers who are residents of low-income households. This tutoring has also made a big difference for English Language Learners. In fact, the percentage of English Language Learner students who passed the AIMS reading test went from 27% in 2008 to 42% in 2009. The percentage increase of 27% to 42% is 56%. The percentage of students passing, therefore, went up 56%.

Make a Difference Foundation will not rest until we make a way out of no way so that the children of the working poor can find that new day that their parents never got to see.


THE HISTORY OF “Make a Difference Foundation”

“Make a Difference Foundation,” a non-profit corporation, was founded in 2006 by Gene Fazio who began teaching in the Maricopa Community College District in 1970. When he began teaching, he wondered how college football players who struggled in the classroom could master thick, complicated playbooks. In 1988, he had the opportunity to work with Mesa Community College’s quarterback, Michael Johnson, who needed to graduate in the summer or would lose a Division One scholarship to play for Gerry Faust at Akron University. Fazio felt that he would learn new teaching techniques by working intensively with Michael Johnson. His success with Michael Johnson led him to continue researching techniques for individualizing and personalizing instruction by working with other motivated football players who needed to qualify or regain eligibility. See the following news articles about Fazio’s individual tutoring projects:

“Faust Friends Help QB Make Grades,” Akron Beacon Journal, August 31, 1988, pages D-1 and D-5.
“Saving Players’ Futures: MCC Instructor Helps Football Stars Qualify or Regain Eligibility” East Valley Tribune, July 2, 2003, pages C-1 and C-8.
“ASU ’02 Recruit (Robert James) Is Eligible: Maryvale Safety Passes ACT at Last,” Arizona Republic, June 13, 2003, p. C-13.
After doing more than 1,000 hours of tutoring over the span of twenty years, Gene Fazio created the “Coaching Literacy” program. With this program, college students with minimal training can successfully tutor students in reading and writing. Also, through the experience of being tutored in this program, even under-prepared students have been able to tutor other students. As a result, under-prepared students now have the opportunity to learn at a higher level by tutoring others and to experience the power and fulfillment of making a difference with another human being.

Last summer in 2007, “Make a Difference Foundation” ran The Wright to Dream Literacy Camp at Cesar Chavez High School. In this program, college students were the reading and writing tutors for 300 entering freshmen. On a survey, 95% of these freshmen said that the tutors were effective and knowledgeable. At the literacy camp this summer, high school students will join college students as tutors. Then, these high school students will also tutor during the school year at CCHS. See the following articles about Fazio’s community literacy programs:

“The Pen Is Mightier: Mesa Teacher Wants to Raise an Army of Tutors,” East Valley Tribune, June 24, 2003, p. D-1.
“Literacy Camp Boosts Students: Sun Devils Help Kids in Reading Tutorials,” The Arizona Republic, July 26, 2007, p. C-7.
“ASU Athletes Read a Lot into Improving Literacy,” The Tempe Republic, August 1, 2007, p. 16.)
At the 2005 “Teacher of the Year Awards” in San Diego, a keynote speaker said that there are more Hispanic males in prison than in college. This cannot be tolerated. When underserved and under-prepared students have successful experiences as tutors, they will see themselves in a new way. As a result, their lives and the community around them will transform. Last year, “Make a Difference Foundation” provided tutoring for 400 Cesar Chavez High School students and 75 YMCA i-Learn students for less than $15,000. The goal by 2020 is to have sufficient funding and available tutors so that all Maricopa County high schools can have the Coaching Literacy program.