Library honors tutor of the year

Published 11:00 pm Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Troy Public Library presented the 2013 Tutor of the Year Award to Brittney Strong Thursday afternoon.

The Hoover resident is a psychology major at Troy University and logged 351 hours while tutoring five children at the public library.

“Brittney began tutoring in August 2011 and is still tutoring with our program,” said Teresa Colvin, TPL children and young adult librarian. “She has exceeded our expectations in her efforts to assist others in the process of learning. She has also been very supportive of the tutoring program by recruiting other education majors to volunteer as well.”

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Strong said she became involved in the library’s tutoring program because she knew that she would eventually need the credit for education classes.

“But I fell in love with the kids and wanted to keep working with them,” she said. “I’ve always wanted to teach because I have a special place in my heart for kids.”

Although Strong recently switched her major to psychology, she will work toward a master’s degree in education and plans a career in the classroom.

“I want to teach either kindergarten or first grade,” she said. “My experience tutoring has helped prepare me for the classroom.”

Strong said the most difficult task about tutoring is that the students are far behind in their studies.

“I’ve found that the best way to get a student involved is to find what interests them and find a way to work that into their studies,” she said. “Kids learn in different ways and you have to learn what works best with each one of them.”

Strong said knowing that not all students learn alike and finding ways to reach them individually as well as collectively has been a challenge.

“Most of the time, I tutor the kids one-on-one, but I do bring all of them together at different times,” she said. “That gives me an opportunity to work with them as a group and to also break it down to work with them individually within the group.”

Not all children embrace tutoring and Strong said it’s very rewarding when a student realizes that “this is going to help me.”

“I’ve learned a lot as a tutor that will help me when I’m in the classroom,” she said.

“Tutoring has been a rewarding experience. I encourage my friends to get involved if they have the time. It’s worth my time and I think it will be worth theirs, too.”