The IPAL online tutoring program is an initiative of the Pasco School District. It is intended to expand and reach out to students living within the district boundaries to take advantage of flexible learning opportunities to meet the diverse needs of students and families. It gives the student an alternative to the traditional classroom setting.

The Center for Sharing was approached by Deb Thurston, the IPAL Administrator about a possible collaboration. The idea was that the Collegium provided the ideal space for an online tutoring program. Therefore, it did not take long for us to enter into a partnership with IPAL. We officially started the program last year on 10/10/2018. Programs of this nature take a little while for people to learn about before they embrace the concept which is to reach out to more students who might have challenges that need to be addressed in a different setting. The response has been encouraging based on the feedback I received from Jaki Gosch who teaches the students here at the Collegium. She said that she has four regular students who are benefitting immensely from the program. She disclosed that some of them were from the Tierra Vida community whilst the others were from nearby communities. She also said that the program offers a relaxed environment and is not stressful for the students. She also told me that there are students with many challenges such as transportation, learning limitations and this program helps them overcome those hurdles. She had kind words for the Collegium Café a setting which she described as peaceful, comfortable, safe, and a very inviting place.

The Center for Sharing is therefore grateful for the opportunity to partner with the Pasco School District in their mission to spread education to as many students as possible. Education is unique and can overcome cultural and language barriers.  But it also needs to be accessible for the students who might have financial and transport challenges. The Collegium Café provides that safe place, close to home and an informal environment for these students. We are glad that it is making a significant impact in their lives and feel encouraged to do better.