Prep for Prep High Schoolers Celebrate a Successful Year of the SAYC Tutoring Program

Students Advocating for Young Children (SAYC) concluded this year’s tutoring program on Saturday, March 9 with games, a special lunch, and a surprise performance by bilingual rapper, MC Tingbudong.
Saturday, March 9, marked the last day of classes for the year for the Students Advocating for Young Children (SAYC) tutoring program. As tutors, Prep for Prep high schoolers teach fifth graders in weekly Saturday classes. This was the ninth year working with students from PS 124 and the first year with PS 11 and Harlem School of the Arts. The curriculum includes math in the morning and English Language Arts in the afternoon. SAYC is a student-run program that works to improve the lives of young children. About 30 Prep for Prep students in 10th, 11th, and 12th grade are involved each year.

For the final class, students warmed up with ultimate rock-paper-scissors (where everyone competes until it’s down to the final two) before playing a math game, Treasure Hunt. In Treasure Hunt, teams competed by solving a math problem correctly in order to dig up squares on the board in the hopes of finding treasure chests buried by the opposing team. Lunch was from Sei Less and coordinated by alum Amin Mustefa (XXXIII/Hackley ’17/University of Texas at Dallas ’21). After lunch, students participated in a formal debate for their final ELA lesson. In their teams, students wrote an opening statement, main argument, rebuttal, and closing statement for or against stricter legislation over free speech. They also worked together to answer questions from the judges (SAYC tutors) in support of their main arguments. Many of the students said they felt nervous at the start of the debate, but gained confidence in their ideas and public speaking by the end.

Students were treated to a performance from MC Tingbudong who raps in English and Mandarin, as part of the final day celebration. Before leaving, students were given gift bags and words of advice and encouragement from their tutors. We are grateful to our volunteer Alumni Coordinator Sybil Lui (XXIX/Brearley ’13/ Penn ’17) who helped the Director of Leadership Development Projects, Michael O’Leary, coordinate this program. We would like to give a huge shout out to SAYC tutors who served in leadership roles this year: Emily S. (XL), Head of SAYC; Kevin G-B. (XL) and Claire H. (XLII), Math Leads; Giana C. (XL) and Eva N-T. (XLIII), ELA Leads; Wessal B. (XL), Thierry L. (XL), Manas R. (XL), Gwendolyn S. (XLI), and Matthew V. (XL), Curriculum Designers. The space is part of the Asian Americans for Equality offices donated for our program by its founders, Prep alums Thomas Yu (XII/Poly Prep '96, Harvard '00) and Nelson Chan (XIII/Browning '96, Columbia '00).
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