Glendale-Mountainview’s Community Learning Center is a tool for academic success

Story and photo by NINA YU

After a six-hour day of absorbing math, language arts, and social studies, most students are ready to head home to catch a break. However, as soon as the bell rings, the Glendale-Mountainview Community Learning Center starts seeing kids filing in for another round of learning.

The Glendale-Mountainview Community Learning Center (CLC) is a place for students to go after school for tutoring, and includes a wide range of other educational and artistic activities. According to a brief description on the Salt Lake City School District website, a CLC, “is a philosophy, a place, and a set of partnerships between a school and other community resources. The CLC model builds on the core instructional program of a school by adding educational and life skill enrichment for the entire family and [removes] barriers to learning by providing necessary social services.”

Essentially, this center is a safe space for kids to catch up on school and learn life skills with the home economic programs. It can even be an early-preventative method against turning to negative influences.

The CLC works with a long list of community partners that all have a commitment to enhance the services in five areas: quality education, personal development, community development, family and community engagement, and family support.

“We get a lot of value supporting students. Their worth is important especially since a lot of them don’t have a support system at home,” said Keri Taddie, the CLC coordinator. “Even if it’s at someone’s home, there can be language barriers or parents have late work schedules, so what we do at the center is help these kids and build a long-term relationship. Students that participate in this program tend to be with us long-term. We watch them grow up.”

The CLC has multiple community partners that help kids with tutoring and homework. One of them is the University of Utah’s Utah Reads (originally America Reads). Utah Reads is a program within the Bennion Center that tutors elementary school children with learning how to read. Utah Reads’ mission is to provide quality, one-on-one tutoring for elementary students at Title 1 schools in the Salt Lake district. Utah Reads’ tutors are trained college students who are placed at any of the sites that the program partners with — Glendale-Mountainview CLC being one.

“Each site is student-run. We do one-on-ones every week and the student leaders take care of scheduling, assessments, placements, and tutor management,” said Asma Hassan, the program manager for Utah Reads. “At each of our sites, we try to work with whatever makes the child unique. The CLC is one of the sites that is more unique, because of the Learning Lab. It’s more helping with homework and for those who need it, we even offer later hours.”

There are about eight to 10 tutors assigned to each site. Since the CLC is both a space for Glendale and Mountainview students, 16 tutors are assigned to the site. Utah Reads works on building a mentor relationship with the students who are struggling in school. The tutors’ goal is to catch those who are struggling at an earlier age so they can proceed with their peers accordingly.

Along with Utah Reads, the CLC also has partnerships with programs such as Big Brother Big Sister, Bad Dog Arts, and Discovery Gateway.

The Learning Lab at the CLC.

On average, the CLC sees about 55 to 65 kids participating in the Learning Lab daily. There are about 90 kids weekly. According to CLC coordinator, Taddie, most of the kids who come to the CLC are elementary school children, ranging from first to the fourth grade. Not only does the center provide literary tutoring and homework help, it also has many after-school programs such as music, math club, home economics, and sports.

Most of these programs and partnerships are free for the students, except for the Mountainview After-School Program and the Glendale Community Education Program. The After-School Program is held five days a week for three hours and 15 minutes a day until 6 p.m. and it helps parents know that their child is in a safe environment while they’re at work. The program charges $40 a month, but families are eligible for reduced fees and beyond that, there are also fee waivers.

The Community Education Program is the biggest one in the district and oversees the after-school programs. The program is for parents and students who need a consistent space. The fee is $50 a year, but the reduced and waived fees still apply.

“Fees are a barrier,” Taddie said. “What you see happen is that kids will see that there’s a fee and they immediately put the flyer away. They don’t ask questions. They don’t ask if there are options for them.”

For some students, the educational and art programs are so memorable they come back and volunteer when they’re in high school or college.

“I definitely recommend that students take advantage of the Learning Lab and any other programming at the CLC,” said Kenneth Limb, the principal at Mountainview Elementary, in an email interview. “All CLC programs are enriching and support academic and social/emotional learning.”

The teachers, counselors and administrators all support and promote students’ attendance of the Learning Lab and the other programs. The CLC is located at 1388 Navajo St. and wedged in between Mountainview Elementary School and Glendale Middle School.

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