BREEZY POINT -- Bob Magstadt graduated from Moorhead State University with an elementary education degree. But instead of teaching, he entered the corporate world. He now works as a senior technical writer at Hunt Technologies, Inc., in Breezy Point.
But because of a pilot tutoring program recently set up between the Breezy Point company and the Pequot Lakes School District, Magstadt is now putting his education background to use by tutoring math students from Pequot Lakes High School twice a week.
The program, which began two weeks ago, matches Hunt employees with Pequot Lakes seventh- and eighth-grade math students for one-hour after-school tutoring sessions. The company is allowing its employees to tutor students during their work time. The tutoring sessions take place in the meeting rooms at the Breezy Point company.
"I just enjoy working with kids. I always have," Magstadt said as he tutored Pequot seventh-grader Ashley Nordby on Monday afternoon. "I do have to ask myself, though, 'Do I remember this?' I'm from the old school. Things have changed from then to what I've been going over with Ashley today."
"A lot of parents have a hard time helping with math homework once their child reaches that seventh- and eighth-grade level," said Dan Frank, Pequot Lakes Community Education director, which is why the program was started. "We just thought, because Hunt is a technology-based company, that it would make sense that Hunt would have people who could help."
The school district couldn't find the tutors needed for the junior high students who were struggling with math so officials approached Hunt Technologies with the idea. School employee Tina Neumann is in charge of the program.
Frank said Hunt employees who volunteered to be tutors had to undergo criminal background checks and attend an orientation session before tutoring students since the tutoring takes place away from the school.
If the program becomes successful, Frank said the school district may look at tutoring programs that would help students in other fields, such as reading, writing or science. They may also check whether other businesses would be interested in the program. The district is also developing a tutoring program that has been implemented in Crosby that matches high school students with younger students to help with their homework.
Frank said the tutoring sessions at Hunt allow students to see how math concepts they're learning are used every day in the workplace.
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