New "Buddy Up" Program to Tutor High School Diploma Hopefuls

Mar 19, 2014

ProLiteracy and LiteracyCNY are teaming up to create a mentoring program for adults wishing to take the high school equivalency exam. Their new program, called “Buddy Up,” seeks to create a corps of highly-trained volunteers to support 225 low-income, underserved youth and young adults studying for the exam.

The program was formed to ensure that students are prepared for the change over to the new high school equivalency test (the Test Assessing Secondary Completion, or TASC), which went into effect in New York State this January. The TASC replaces the GED, the previous standard for high school level education.  

three people hold an oversized check poster between them
Literacy CNY Executive Director Marsha Tait, AT&T Regional External Affairs Manager Kevin Hanna, and ProLiteracy President and CEO Kevin Morgan.
Credit Scott Willis / WAER News

Linda Church of ProLiteracy says the test reflects the new, more rigorous common core standards.  “It assesses students ability to do thinking – not just factual information, but to think through and compare things” critically. It will also entail a higher level of math skills than the previous subject test under the GED. 

Church explained that, for some student who had yet to finish all five subject tests under the old GED examinations, January 1, 2014 could be a brutal cut-off point:  

AT&T donated $15,000 to help ProLiteracy and LiteracyCNY train 20 volunteer tutors to help struggling adults hoping to pass the new test.  Students like Tia Mcintyre know firsthand how much ProLiteracy and SUNY’s Educational Opportunity Center can help.  She came in with low level reading skills and worked her way through morning class sessions to earn her GED:

Students will start meeting with tutors in one-on-one and group sessions following volunteer training starting April 1st.