California – Chinatown: Asian American Tutorial Program

Sally Ip

What organization did you volunteer with, and where were you located?

I volunteered with the UCLA Asian American Tutorial Project (AATP). Our sites are located at Castelar Elementary in Chinatown, Los Angeles.


Why did you to volunteer with the Asian American Tutorial Project?

I originally thought this organization was a great way to tutor children and provide extracurricular activities. However, I’ve learned that this organization is more than just tutoring; the tutors also become mentors to the children and form “big brother/big sister” relationships with the students.


How did your experience influence you? What knowledge or insights did you gain during your time of service?

I learned from my experience that the volunteers were more than simply tutors and mentors to the children. I’ve been in this organization for about a year, and I could see how grateful the families were for this organization in providing extra tutoring and extracurricular activities. We also got to interact with the parents, and I got to witness how a parent trusted a tutor in translating for personal matters. Our organization goes beyond just tutoring the children.


Did you experience any culture shock during your volunteering?

Although this organization volunteers in an elementary school in Chinatown, the demographics are not limited to Chinese Americans. Our tutors also come from diverse backgrounds, which aids in our mission of providing assistance to the children in overcoming language, cultural, or socioeconomic barriers when receiving education.


What was a typical day like for you?

Summer sites are different from regular sites during the school year. Instead of having a first hour with worksheets for the tutees and second hour with free play, summer sites are focused on specific activities throughout the two hours, such as science projects. For instance, at our first summer site, we made volcanoes with baking soda and vinegar. Tutors would help with preparation and set up. Afterwards, we quizzed the tutees on what happened and what ingredients were used and then gave them snack rewards.

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Country Served United States
Organization Asian American Tutorial Program
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