Tutor Time

Tutor Time

Tutor Time is a pre-college program sponsored by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Dean of Students Office. It is part of the America Reads and America Counts program and is designed to help increase a child's self esteem and develop confidence and a continued desire to learn by providing a safe, encouraging environment in which they can learn. Each Saturday, RPI college students tutor children in grades PreK-9 in mathematics and reading at two locations in Troy on Saturdays. All children from the capital region are eligible to participate in the program.

Children who attend the program will receive assistance with basic math and reading skills. Some of the children begin Tutor Time struggling in school and others just want to be challenged: all the students discover that they enjoy learning when they are supported by the RPI student staff who help reinforce concepts and ideas that the children are learning in school. Students are asked to bring with them materials that they wish to understand. Parents are encouraged to acquire supplementary materials from the student's teacher for the student to work on during the tutoring session whenever possible.Tutor Time


Reading is a key building block for all learning. It is the national consensus that a child should master reading by the end of the third grade, or risk falling further behind. Tutor Time was in part developed to help strengthen children's reading skills. Tutor Time helps provide basic reading skills to students in kindergarten through third grade, and to older students needing review. Students benefit from an integrated approach to reading that combines word and letter recognition, phonics and comprehension. We will assist young readers find meaning in what they read and learn how to sharpen both oral and listening skills. We provide a positive and encouraging environment for young children that will facilitate learning.


Mathematics is the key to opportunity. Tutor Time's math program assists students from K-9 to apply fundamental, grade appropriate math skills. To stay on track for college and promising careers, today's students must achieve high academic standards. One means of helping students improve their math achievement is to provide them with personal attention and additional learning opportunities through tutoring and mentoring.

The following topics are among the math skills Tutor Time practices with students:

Program History

RPI's Tutor Time was founded in Fall 2001 by a group of students participating in the America Reads / America Counts Work Study program, a government sponsored program that promotes the "no child left behind" initiative. Its goal is to ensure that each child, grades K-9, receive assistance in basic math and reading skills.

With the support of the Lansingburgh Public Library, Tutor Time was able to open its doors on December 2001. Through the hard work and dedication of the students and staff participating in Tutor Time, the program's popularity made it necessary to expand to a second location. In October 2002, Tutor Time opened its doors at Troy School 14. In the winter of 2009, it was necessary for the Lansingburgh program to move temporarily to the Lansingburgh Boys and Girls Club, with the closing of the Lansingburgh Branch of the Troy Public Library. Commencing January 30, 2010, with the passing of the local library referendum and budget, Tutor Time was able to resume this service to the children of the local community in the Lansingburg Library. In the fall, 2010, the Troy location was temporarily moved to the RPI campus to serve the children in the Troy School District, and moved to the Community Room at Phi Sigma Kappa Fraternity, on Congress Street, in Troy in the fall of 2011. Beginning January 2013, the "Troy" location will be at Blitman Hall on 6th Avenue in Troy.

With the continued support of the Lansingburgh and Troy Public Schools, the Troy Public Library, support through the Federal Work Study Program, and volunteer and community support, Tutor Time plans to offer free tutoring services to children in grades k-12, throughout the academic year, for many years to come.

Since the autumn of 2001 when Tutor Time opened in the Lansingburgh Library, through the spring of 2017 at our two current locations in Troy, Rensselaer students working in the RPI Tutor Time program through their work-study assignments in America Reads and America Counts have hosted a total of 13,744 one-hour appointments in service to the children of Troy and the surrounding community.


The Tutor Time program is proud that it has the support of the Troy Public Library and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute which provide space free of charge for the programs each year. Throughout the years, the program has depended totally on donations of materials to assist in helping students learn. In early 2017, Tutor Time was selected as a Stewarts Holiday Match recipient, which is making possible the refresh of many of our teaching tools and materials, as well as some new books and chess sets to benefit the students. Many thanks to Stewarts for making this possible!

Program Coordinator
Cynthia Smith, Assistant Dean of Students
RPI - 4629 Academy Hall
Troy, NY 12180
Phone: (518) 276-3098
Fax: (518) 276-8194
E-mail: Pre-College Programs

Pre-College Initiatives, Phone: (518) 276-3098, Fax: (518) 276-4839