Tutoring club having pawsitive impact

OPRF students tutor at Beye Elementary

More stories from Quinn Berleman-Paul


During the Cats and Dogs Homework Club, the OPRF Huskies and Beye Bobcats work together.

“If you stopped by the Beye library on a Tuesday or Thursday afternoon, you would see it buzzing with productivity and energy,” said Maggie Testore, a parent volunteer supervisor for Cats and Dogs.

Founded at the beginning of the 2016 school year (with a pilot program in the Spring of 2015), Cats and Dogs Homework Club has helped tutor Beye students in an individual setting every Tuesday and Thursday after school.

“The volunteer Huskie tutors (the “dogs”) walk over to Beye School (just three short blocks east of the high school) and help the Beye Bobcats (the “cats”) with their homework,” said Maggie Testore, one of the program’s volunteer parent supervisors. Frequently, kids will finish their homework under the amount of time given for tutoring. This allows the tutors to also help their student through more specialized lessons once homework has been completed.

“The environment is lighthearted, but also studious,” said junior Anna Testore. She is the daughter of Maggie Testore and a program tutor. Her experience has taught her  “tricks to help the boy I tutor stay focused, especially on days when the last thing he wants to do is homework.”

Grace Scully is another junior at OPRF program participant since the beginning of this school year. “I learned how to work well with kids, which, as an only child, I wasn’t super good at before I started tutoring,” she said about her experience so far. She also added “It’s perfect for a person who is likes kids, helping people, or just wants some fun volunteer experience.”

Depending on how busy the tutor is, tutors can tutor up to twice a week. The tutors go unpaid for their services. The time is spent helping the kids finish their homework. This may include “giving a few pointers or going more in depth to certain subjects that kids have trouble with,” described Anna Testore. Scully described how one of her students struggles more with reading, so they have an extra packet to work on every session to help improve his skills in that subject. For many other kids, the trouble can be with math.

The experience is good for the kids who receive help, but also for the tutors. “It’s a super rewarding experience, especially when you form a relationship with your kid,” Testore said.

“It’s perfect for a person who is likes kids, helping people, or just wants some low-commitment, fun volunteer experience,” added Scully.

“It is an honor to be a part of this program that allows current Huskies to help future Huskies reach their full academic potential,” said Maggie Testore. She said she values the “patience and commitment” the tutors have for the Beye students.


To join the Cats and Dogs Homework Club, email [email protected] or [email protected].