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Academics Spotlight: Angela Kabiling

Twice a year, we issue a survey to the students and parents we serve at libraries with our Academics free tutoring program. This time around, student responses to the question “What is your favorite thing about coming to tutoring?” at Rainbow Library had a common theme.

“Miss Angela, my favorite tutor, is especially a good tutor and me, along with many others, love her ways and she is incredibly helpful.”

“Coming to see Miss Angela because she always helps me. Last year she brought my grades up from D's to A's, B's, and C's.”

“Coming in to see Miss Angela because she helps me understand what I didn't [before].”

With those only being a handful of shining reviews for Ms. Angela Kabiling,  we not only took notice but decided to sit down with her and ask her a few questions. Her charisma and obvious love for what she does made it clear why she is so beloved by students.

Angela was born in Olongapo City, Philippines as the 2nd of her parents’ 3 daughters, but has been in Las Vegas for 17 years now. She has obtained two Bachelor’s in Accounting and Economics from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and has been working for Andson for 3 years and 7 months.

Angela has no children of her own, but is very close to her students at Rainbow Library (“Shout out to JAAAMK!”). She is “passionate about motivating kids to improve on their math knowledge and challenge them intellectually. Mentorship is important for the youth, and [she] plans to be a better role model for them. We should love nature, each other, and most importantly, ourselves.”

Part of what makes Angela such an effective tutor is her ability to relate to students, which she does through references to memes and social media. “[She loves] making connections to social media with mathematical problems. It makes homework more relevant and [creates] entertaining situations. Seeing the light bulb above their heads and watching their gears work makes [her] proud that they’re utilizing their critical thinking skills.” But more important to Angela is the trust the children have in both her and themselves.

“I want my students to trust in not only me, but in themselves as well. I love to build their confidence in themselves. This applies in their schoolwork and in their choices they make in their life. Building that trust with my kids also strengthens our relationship, and I believe that is what makes a great tutor.”

When she’s not tutoring for Andson or working in our Piggy Banks, she enjoys gardening, playing video games, improving her culinary skills, spending time with her friends, and traveling whenever she can. Lately, she has been planning road trips to all of the country’s National Parks. Most recently, she visited Cathedral Rock and Great Basin National Park.

She also has an impressive menagerie of pets, with 7 chickens (Beignet, Brioche, Baguette, Biscotti, Tiramisu, Sesame, and Pistachio), 2 rats (Ratnor and Ribbon) and a salamander (Lucio).

Finally, if there is one piece of advice Angela wants to leave her students with, it is: “Let’s get this bread, so believe in yourself more often!”


May's Tutor of the Month - Cheryl Hecksher

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Let’s give a warm welcome to our newest tutor of the month, Cheryl Hecksher! Cheryl is originally from Los Angeles but before moving to Las Vegas 12 years ago, she spent many years in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Mexico City. She is fluent in Spanish and loves Mexican food and music. Becoming a teacher was always one of her life’s ambitions, but she was not able to attend college until later in life. Immediately after obtaining her degree though, she moved to Las Vegas to pursue a teaching credential and a job. She is now in her 11th year of teaching. She has taught 2nd, 3rd, and 5th grades, as well as Adult ESL (English as a second language). “My favorite thing about teaching is working side-by-side with students who may be struggling and then seeing that moment when they finally ‘get it’,” Cheryl told us. She hopes to get better and better at teaching every year to help at-risk students close the achievement gap. To reach that goal, she plans on obtaining her National Board Certification within the next few years. She currently teaches 2nd grade and tutors 4th grade through Andson at Sunrise Acres Elementary School. She enjoys working with students of all ages.

Cheryl has many hobbies including: travel, genealogy, and reading historical fiction. However, she is most passionate about art. She has even had the opportunity to travel to Florence, Italy about ten years ago. In Florence, she was able to see many of the Renaissance masterpieces, like Michelangelo’s David in person, which she had studied and written about in college. “It was an unforgettable experience,” she exclaimed. She plans on traveling throughout the world experiencing the art of many different cultures in the years to come. We are grateful that Cheryl is sharing some of her enthusiasm and passion with Andson and our students.

Why You Should Invest In Making Memories

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by Hannah Moore

Does the ability to physically grasp something mean it will have a lasting positive effect on us? "There's a very logical assumption that most people make when spending their money: that because a physical object will last longer, it will make us happier for a longer time," writes Jay Cassano. He's analyzing a theory (proposed by Dr.Thomas Gilovich of Cornell University) that experiences, although ephemeral in nature, keep people genuinely happier than buying new material items. The idea in summation is this: we get used to being around the same physical object over time, so it's value to us diminishes. But an experience like travel or a concert especially with loved ones becomes an ingrained part of you, rather than something that's just around your presence. "You can really like your material stuff. You can even think that part of your identity is connected to those things, but nonetheless they remain separate from you. In contrast, your experiences really are part of you. We are the sum total of our experiences," states Dr. Gilovich. The article then goes on to discuss why people tend towards purchasing instead of experiencing even though one outweighs the other in arguable benefits. All in all, both Jay Cassano and Dr. Thomas make for compelling and truthful food for thought that could change anyone's life with a simple read through of their insight.

Read the full article here.

Knowing Your Stuff - Money Edition

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By Hannah Moore

How financially literate do you think you are in comparison to the rest of the general American public? Take this simple yet revealing quiz to find out. Don't feel bad if you fall short. Statistically, most people do. Even folks with a post secondary education do. The numbers show that 55.7% of Americans with college degrees answered at least one of the three questions incorrectly. The point of this quiz isn't directly about being right or wrong though - it's about how the results reflect what's not known on average, even when it arguably should be. And if that is telling of anything, it's that financial literacy has to be sought after, because it's not usually readily available to the masses. At Andson we aim to make this knowledge readily available for students and their families, because knowing how to handle your money is essential for every age and life situation. We teach these concepts through classroom worksheets, homework assignments, and take home reviews to explain to parents what is being taught and how they can assist in the learning process. Andson curriculum strives for not only a 3 out of 3 score on this quiz, but a more prepared generation of Southern Nevada.

Most Americans Fail This Simple 3-Question Financial Quiz. Can You Pass It?

When Taking on Fixed Expenses, Adult Guidance is Invaluable

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By Hannah Moore

Dealing with money responsibly is intimidating enough sometimes for adults, let alone the youth. That is why having support from a parent or mature individual is crucial to youngsters being thrust into the grown-up world of financial matters. By age 23, a colleague had built up great credit and a decent income. This lead her to believe she could purchase her first car without much help or guidance. Unfortunately that was not the case and she got hit with thousands of dollars of hidden fees. The message behind this personal anecdote is not a far cry from the lesson learned in columnist Ron Lieber's college bound days, although his story has a bit of a happier ending. His mother had taken him to a private meeting with a professional financial adviser to help figure out expenses and scholarships for school. He says if he hadn't been brought along by his mother to that meeting, his college debt would have been drastically higher and he wouldn't have the career that he does today. In a short summation: be a mentor if you're knowledgeable, and if you're not so knowledgeable or experienced, don't be afraid to ask for help! It could change your life. Andson is here to help. To read the article, click the following link:

Paying For College and Learning a Lesson for Life - New York Times

April's Tutor of the Month - Jessica Gentekos

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By Hannah Moore

Las Vegas native, Jessica Gentekos helps us greet April with her Tutor of the Month status, and has certainly been around the block when it comes to schools of Southern Nevada. She attended high school at Chaparral, her undergraduate at UNLV, and then taught at J. Marlan Walker Elementary before moving on to teaching second grade at Frias Elementary, where she still is today. When it comes to tutoring, helping students understand concepts they were taught at school, and witnessing the progress made really drives her. Her free time encompasses being a true Philadelphia Eagles fan and reading for pleasure. "It's kinda fun to do the impossible" is a great Walt Disney quote that lends itself to her life. Thanks Jessica, for aiding us in making things possible!

March's Tutor of the Month - John Yoder

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By Hannah Moore

March 2015 brings us tutor of the month honoree, John Yoder! John was inspired to teach simply by his love of working with kids, and to this day, that remains his favorite thing about teaching. Although he grew up in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, John has taken greatly to the southwest and teaches Education Computer Technology to all grades at Ronzone Elementary School here in Las Vegas. When not at Ronzone, John tutors through Andson at the James Boys and Girls Club. John’s favorite subjects are history and science, which would explain his adventurous passion for Mayan Archeology. In fact, John has visited 37 major Mayan archaeological sites and 18 national parks. His goal is to reach 70 total Mayan archeological sites and all 59 National parks in the United States. His 16 and 18 year old daughters must hear plenty of inspirational stories from all of that exploration! And as far as inspiration for his students goes, John states that “Your future is only as small as your imagination.” Thank you for bringing your bold spirit to Andson, John Yoder. The kids surely do appreciate it as much as we do.

Spotlight Site - Laura Dearing Elementary School

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Laura Dearing Elementary School is one of four schools in which Andson partners with CCSD through PASS (Proficiency Academy For Student Success) funding. This is a collaborative effort between the school and Andson to meet specific school improvement goals as outlined in PASS grants.All the students participating in the Andson program at Laura Dearing have shown significant improvement in their academics.

To see the incredible strides the students at Laura Dearing are making, please watch the short video below:

Forecasting Demand for Andson Services

by Anthony McTaggart

Its the beginning of 2015, and that means that corporations - both for profit and nonprofit - have to report to both shareholders and board members.

I was engaged in a conversation with an engineer at a public corporation recently, where he (and soon, I) was upset about the potential for, and complete lack of forecasting that was going on for production of their product line. Initially, I said to myself "Why aren't they forecasting?" That quickly changed to, "Wait, why aren't WE forecasting?"

Forecasting demand is required for most businesses - but may be overlooked in the nonprofit sector. It’s the analysis of past performance in one’s organization, combined with data that alludes to demand for future products, performance, or markets. In essence, it can be a beautiful symbiosis of art and science, one that usually takes time to hone and eventually master.

Some of us are so busy in the day-to-day that we often don’t plan ahead for what's to come. That can lead to two things: Either we have unsustainable growth that causes unplanned budgetary expenditures, or we get into the "No" mode - where we couldn't possibly grow since we have no time to plan where that funding or partnership might come from. How are we to serve a rapidly growing community if we don't plan for it?

Every window in my office is used as a whiteboard

Going forward for the 2015- 16 school year, we as an organization will be looking at 55% of our programming, in terms of budget and locations, being attributed to pre-existing, in place programming; 25% will come from new funding, meaning new locations. For the other 20%, meaning new business, we will be engaging in real demand forecasting. What this entails, is paying attention to data across the Valley: population growth, new communities, new partner locations (like where a new library or Boys & Girls Club are planned), trends in test scores, and areas of general concern in the community.

This isn't difficult, but it does take meaningful dialogue and time - now is the time to start within your own organizations.

If you think you don't have someone that can do this, you might be pleasantly surprised. Look no further than your Development and Marketing team. Mixed with some programming staff, you can have a forecasting team built and deployed by the end of February! Great Development staff have their ear to the ground and are always identifying new resources. This is learned behavior and can be taught. Great Marketers are used to deploying new collateral quickly, and creating a following. Great programming staff can quickly engage in feasibility analyses to conduct new programs.

Our team is amazing, and we are willing to help! Please contact us if you want to grab a coffee and discuss how to become better at forecasting. It would be a wonderful feeling to know what the next year of partnership holds. We look forward to sustainability and planned growth going forward for both our organization, and yours.

Cheers, Anthony

Gordon McCaw Elementary School

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Gordon McCaw Elementary is one of Andson’s newest sites. Andson has agreed to maintain their funding so students can finish out the year in their after school programs. The school will soon to be transitioning into a magnet program. Not only will they be implementing our after school tutoring, but we will be assisting them in the process of finishing out their original curriculum before they begin the shift into new classroom material. This exciting new material will be centered on STEAM curriculum, which stands for science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics. Andson will be at McCaw on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:30-4:00 p.m. with seven teachers and one support staff. These CCSD certified instructors will be helping grades 2-5 with homework and will provide small group tutoring. After this academic portion, students are provided a meal by Three Square, and then participate in a self-selected enrichment activity. During these times, the tutors will also be encouraging students to participate in setting goals for themselves to track their progress throughout the tutoring.

Unique to McCaw Elementary is the School of Mines. Current principal, Jennifer Furman-Born took us on a short tour and proudly told us all about it. What started as a paper mache project in 1998 has turned into quite an attraction. Teacher Janet Bremer along with then principal, Janet Dobry shared this vision. Today, with the help of community partnerships, students all over the valley can experience a simulated mine and learn about Nevada mining and history.

For more info on the McCaw School of Mines, please visit www.mccawschoolofmines.org.

February's Tutor of the Month - DeAnn Sheehan

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By Hannah Moore

We are proud to highlight DeAnn Sheehan, a 30 year teacher from Goldfarb Elementary, as our February tutor of the month. If you were to make the transition between lands of lush green to vast lands of the desert, you’d be following a similar route that DeAnn took when she began her journey into education. Between traveling to complete her schooling, while at the same time exploring ancient wonders, DeAnn has experienced many different cultures, which have shaped who she is as an educator. “I especially enjoy visiting ruins and museums. My two favorite ruins that I have visited are Ephesus, Turkey and Pompeii, Italy. I would love to teach overseas when I retire,” she said.

DeAnn is originally from Olympia, Washington. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary/Special Education from Arizona State University, and then continued her studies at UNLV where she received a Master’s Degree in Education Administration. She has a son who attends UNLV and a lovely canine furry friend. DeAnn offers heartfelt advice to her students, gained from years of experience: “Work hard to accomplish your dreams!” DeAnn is an asset to be sought after for sure and fortunately her journey brought her to Andson!

Spotlight Site - Vegas Verdes Elementary School

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Andson operates after school programs in several locations, three of which are Zone schools: Hollingsworth, Sunrise Acres and Vegas Verdes Elementary Schools. This month, we are focusing our spotlight on Vegas Verdes Elementary School.Andson’s Homework Help and Tutoring program is dedicated to offering homework help and tutoring from licensed tutors for every student at Vegas Verdes' after school program by partnering with City of Las Vegas’ Safekey Program. The purpose is to provide academic support by assisting students directly with the homework concepts they may struggle with in class each day. Andson provides tutors and aides Monday through Thursday to work with 3rd and 4th grade students.

To learn more, please take a look at the short video below:

January’s Tutor of the Month - Jessica Webb

If you have to squint while reading this, we understand. Jessica Webb’s megawatt smile is quite blinding. In fact, Ellen Bordinhao can’t remember ever seeing Jessica without it. “Jessica has never missed a day's work. She is a very thoughtful and caring individual, and that is why she is our Tutor of the Month!” said Bordinhao, Andson’s Academic Developer and former Principal of Elaine Wynn Elementary School. It is Jessica’s calm demeanor that helps her teach severely emotionally challenged high school students at Cimarron High. She has worked for CCSD for 7 years as a substitute teacher and is now a Special Education teacher. Jessica received her Bachelors Degree from Michigan State University and her Masters in Special Education from Nova Southeastern University.

Jessica moved to Las Vegas in 2007 from Detroit, Michigan, with her three children, now 9, 12, and 15 years old. “My children are my pride and joy!” she said. Jessica is active in her church, including the children's ministry, drama productions, and other youth activities. In between church functions, roller skating, and catching flicks with her children, Jessica still gives her precious time to others. She started as a tutor at Agassi Boys and Girls Club, running the Andson program at that location, and currently tutors at one of our Safekey sites, Staton Elementary School. “I have enjoyed working with Andson for the past two years and find it very rewarding to work with an organization with such purpose and vision. Every time I hear Ms. Sonia's story, it inspires me personally and professionally to never give up. I look forward to the expansion and growth in the years to come.”

With great tutors like Jessica Webb, we look forward to that too.

Spotlight Site - Bridger Middle School

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December’s spotlight is on Jim Bridger Middle School. The magnet program at Bridger Middle School provides so many incredible opportunities for the students, exposing them to careers in the fields of robotics, aerospace, aviation, biomedicine, and computer technology.

Andson is committed to helping the students at Bridger reach their full potential and excel academically. By providing after school tutoring, we can ensure each student is working at grade level and is able to participate in all that the school has to offer.

Please watch the short video below to learn about this fantastic partnership.

December's Tutor of the Month - Teresa Weir

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We are thrilled to honor December’s Tutor of the Month, Teresa Weir. Teresa hails from northern Alabama. After graduating college, she accepted a teaching job in Florida, where she worked for 25 years. It was Teresa’s father who inspired her to become a teacher. He was a biochemistry professor at a university and she would accompany him to his classroom on weekends. Her imagination ran away with her as she played with his lab equipment, pretending she had an audience. To this day, science is Teresa’s favorite subject.

We caught up with Teresa at Sunrise Library where Andson provides homework help and tutoring four days per week. The children gravitate toward her and really take in what she is offering them. “I think the tutoring program is invaluable, helping students get up to speed, gain confidence in learning, engage more effectively, and benefit from improved grades.“ she said, “I believe the tutors at Andson help students reach their full potential academically.”

Teresa is currently the Art Specialist at Sue Morrow Elementary School in Henderson. With hobbies in painting and ceramics and a love for science, what can’t Teresa do?

We are happy to have you, Teresa. Thank you for your dedication!

Andson Academics Aides: How Our Youth Pay it Forward

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by Nevena Cvijetic

Andson strives to empower students through education. There’s no better way to fulfill that mission than to hire high school students to assist our CCSD certified tutors! Ambitious high school students from all around the valley are working for Andson as Aides to help children with their homework. Andson gives these students the opportunity to gain valuable work experience and empowers them to be great. At Lied Memorial Boys and Girls Club (BGC), there are four students from Clark High School making a positive impact in the lives of the BGC members. Three of these students, Chris Luu, Shannen Tan, and Miriam Villedis, are in the Teacher Education Academy at Clark High (TEACH). They bring their knowledge about classroom management, discipline, and creating interactive and engaging learning activities to Lied BGC, where they can implement what they’ve learned. The TEACH program trains high schools students to become efficient teachers in the future – they learn about communication, brain development, diverse ways of learning, curriculum and boundaries between education and the students, and methods and management of education. It’s wonderful to have positive young people our BGC students can look up to. The fourth student, Kevin Rodas, is part of the Clark High School Navy Reserve Officer’s Training Corps (ROTC). He uses his leadership training and math skills to assist students with their homework and areas of academics they are struggling in. We are proud to have such high-achieving high school students as part of our team!

November’s Tutor of the Month - Kimberly Sword

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Andson has the best tutors. We really do. And no one epitomizes that more than Kim Sword. Kim comes from Cleveland, Ohio, although having a dad in the Air Force took her all over. “Growing up as a “military brat”, I was blessed with the opportunity to travel the world and experience so many things. As a result, I strive to bring a world of experiences to my young learners,” she says. Teaching is a second career for Kimberly, her first being in corporate management. Kimberly currently works part time for Mad Science and teaches at Roundy Elementary School. Having a passion for young learners, Kim says, “I want math and science to come alive. I want stories to leap off the pages. I want kids to be excited and challenged by every learning opportunity.” There is no doubt that Kimberly is accomplishing these goals. Just take a look at the photos included!

Kimberly lives with her husband, two children, three dogs, two bunnies, and her many fish in Las Vegas. Kim, the kids are so lucky to have you, as are we!

SPOTLIGHT SITE - St. Jude's Ranch for Children

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November's Spotlight Site is St Jude’s Ranch for Children in Boulder City, NV. We chose St. Jude'sdue to their strong commitment to our community and the dedication of their hard-working staff. St Jude’s Ranch is a nonprofit organization that provides a safe haven for children who are victims of abuse, abandonment and homelessness. Children arrive at St. Jude’s struggling to keep up with their peers in school and are sometimes as much as two years behind where they should be academically. Andson was grateful for the opportunity to partner with St Jude’s Ranch and this is what Christine Spadafor, St Jude’s Ranch CEO, had to say about Andson: “Our partnership with the Andson Organization has miraculously helped these children catch up and be competitive in school, and be able to stand toe to toe with their peers academically. With Andson, they have consistent tutors who work closely with the school system, and seeing the same people week after week in helping to reestablish that trust, only furthers help enhance their success in school. Prior to the Ranch’s partnership with Andson, we struggled to find a consistent, effective tutoring program for our children, and Andson is the perfect partner for us.”

To see more, please watch the short video below: