Saturday Academy: helping kids succeed on the SOLs

Did you know that, according to data released by the Virginia Department of Education, Alexandria middle schoolers struggled to pass their Math and Science SOLs last year? Although some students’ scores have increased in certain subject areas, Math and Science still continue to trip up many Alexandrian kids, with more than a quarter of 8th graders failing their Science SOLs and only 26% of 8th graders passing their math SOLs in the 2015-2016 school year.

At Community Lodgings, we believe that the path toward a successful, balanced, and happy future is through education and supportive services. That’s why we’ve dreamed up yet another way to help prepare our middle school kids for the tests this time around: by offering targeted, free-of-charge SOL prep classes for four Saturday mornings leading up to the annual statewide exams.

There will be snacks! There will be games! There’s only one thing missing… volunteer tutors

If you or one of your friends like Science, Math, and working with middle schoolers, that’s a great start! Here’s what else you need to know:

  1. We are striving for a 1:5 instructor-student ratio. We are trying to serve about 10 students per session. That means we only need 2 volunteers per Saturday.
  2. That being said, not every interested tutor HAS to volunteer each Saturday! The dates will include four Saturdays: 4/22, 4/29, 5/6, and 5/13, but tutors can sign up to volunteer one, two, three, or all of the Saturdays. We just need to know ahead of time so we can plan!
  3. The ages/grades of students served will be 11-14, or 6-8th grade
  4. Sessions will include:
  • Practice tests on the computer or paper as needed (if a student has a visual impairment, etc.)
  • Worksheets
  • Other computer programs.
  • Interactive games such as Jeopardy
  • Review of basic skills with methods such as flashcards and review of test taking skills. (All of this will complement work done in after-school programming.)

5. The general agenda for each session will be:

  1. arrival and snack
  2. complete one practice test or test section for math
  3. complete worksheets based on the areas students need the most support on as identified during after school programming
  4. group-based interactive learning
  5. Wrap-up/conclude

This is a great opportunity for economically-disadvantaged Alexandria middle schoolers to get the help they need to pass these exams! If you are interested in being part of this initiative or know someone who might be, please email our Volunteer Coordinator at to get started, or check out our other volunteer opportunities here. Thanks!!





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