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Palo Alto, CA: Volunteers help students with social-emotional needs

Dec 1, 2017, Palo Alto (CA) Weekly: Educating students, one by one—Volunteer tutors provide struggling kids with social-emotional stability along with academic help https://www.paloaltoonline.com/news/2017/12/01/educating-students-one-by-one …Gyna is one of the more than 2,000 students served by All Students Matter, a volunteer-driven nonprofit providing literacy, math and social-emotional support to elementary school students in the Ravenswood City School District. All Students Matter received $5,000 from the Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund this year, paying for new volunteer training that the organization's founder described as "invaluable." As All Students Matter has grown — from 15 people informally volunteering in one Ravenswood school 10 years ago to more than 200 volunteers at six schools — so have the needs of the students it serves. This is reflected in the revamped training, which now consists of one hour focused on literacy and, new last year, one hour on social-emotional support. … All Students Matter (ASM) serves a dual purpose: supporting teachers by helping students. The organization aims to increase teacher retention, which Kennedy said has improved in recent years. For many teachers managing large classrooms, the support is invaluable, said Ji Wook Choi, who teaches third grade at Brentwood. The volunteers provide a level of differentiation and one-on-one attention that she isn't always able to, she said. "I wouldn't be able to do my job without ASM," she said. "They really push my kids forward."