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GWA Students Teach English and Build Relationships at STELOS

What is STELOS? 

STELOS (Students Teaching English Learners on Saturdays) is a program created by GWA Kindergarten teacher Sara Hutson in 2016. The program allows GWA students from 2nd grade through 12th grade to volunteer their time on a Saturday from 9 AM to 1 PM to tutor English to our staff’s children. Most of these children attend public schools around Casablanca.

Tutoring at STELOS looks different than you may expect. English is taught through games, LEGOs, songs, yoga, sports, and art. All of this wondrous teaching and learning takes place right here at GWA. This really makes it an easy way to serve others in the community.

“My son likes all the activities provided at STELOS. He specifically likes the activities that he does not have at his own school. Now my son loves English and I believe this is because of the STELOS group and the friends he has made there. I would love to thank Ms. Hutson for her time and great work.” - GWA housekeeper Meriem, whose son has attended STELOS for three years. 

The STELOS program allows time for students to eat a snack and have playtime together. This free time is a critical part of building relationships. Volunteers learn quickly that teaching and helping others is a lot of fun. Each semester of STELOS ends with a party to encourage and celebrate each other. 

“The best part about STELOS is actually seeing the students use language to communicate and build a relationship. Sometimes playing soccer for fifteen minutes creates the best communication.” - Founder Ms. Hutson

“It can be challenging when your students do not understand or do not pay attention, but normally that doesn’t happen because we play fun games. If I feel like they are not understanding, then I would try to help them by repeating and sometimes I use French if needed. I have a lot of fun playing the games and activities. My favorite memory from STELOS was my first time playing the games.” - Frequent volunteer 5th grader Nathan Martinet 

“What I love about STELOS is it introduces and enhances volunteer service to GWA kids and in this way serves the community. I see students involved to share their knowledge of the language on Saturdays morning! Recipients are eager to learn and are happy about the program! I am sure that learning a new language can open a door in the future!” - Frequent volunteer Meriem Idrissi

STELOS currently has fifteen staff children coming to learn English and usually around six or seven volunteers to work with them. 

The next STELOS sessions are March 16th, April 20th, May 18th, and June 22nd.

The STELOS team welcomes volunteers to be a part of this opportunity to connect with the community and share English, resources, and friendship. People interested in volunteering may contact Ms. Hutson at shutson@gwa.ac.ma.  

Thanksgiving pumpkins! Volunteers helped students explain what they were thankful for and to write it on a pumpkin.

Mr. Grine tutoring the son of one of GWA’s housekeepers.

Meriem Idrissi, a preschool assistant at GWA, volunteering her time on a Saturday.

STELOS students and volunteers ending their time with a song in the Library Blue Room.

Preschool teacher Hannah Smit teaching opposites to two English Learners.

High School student Sara tutoring students on sequencing events.

High School student Iness tutoring kids on comparing sizes.

2nd grader Declan tutoring students using puzzles and whiteboards.