Dare2Soar is a well-established tutoring program for elementary and middle school children from Chester, run by Swarthmore students. Some students from the college choose to volunteer and tutor the children from Chester off-campus at select schools and others participate in the on-campus activities, which take place on Saturdays and involve the children coming to the college. Awjin Ahn ’15, a Board Member of Dare2Soar explained the Saturday activities.
“Fourth to sixth graders come on campus on Saturdays. It’s sort of like a mentorship program, like a day camp,” he said.
The program is organized with a different theme for each week. The most recent ones have been Science Week, which was organized and facilitated by the Swarthmore College Society of Women Engineers; for Art Week, the visiting children were shown the List Gallery and RnM members organized a dance workshop too.
Recently, Dare2Soar has been advertising to encourage students to donate their extra meals to the program. Ahn explained this request, “ After the activities of the day, the children eat at Sharples. For this we use donated meals from students. A student can give their name, ID number and class year to us and we put it through the system. Basically, it’s like double swiping for a friend.” When asked about the student response to this request, Ahn said, “We always manage to fill the quota but have never had any extras. In the case of unused meals, the meals are returned to the donating student.”
The program currently comprises fifteen volunteers, including four Board Members, and is responsible for a total twenty-three students from Chester. However, by Ahn’s admission, the number of students varies week to week and year to year.
On the subject of plans to alter or expand the program in any way, Ahn said, “It’s very well done and is running pretty well. Hopefully it will continue to keep doing that. We do have plans to expand but will need more funding from the school and discussions with the participating schools in Chester.”