Warner Bros. Studio Facilities (WBSF) concluded its school year-long volunteer coaching program Tuesday at Luther Burbank Middle School (LBMS) with a special treat for the participating students: a VIP studio tour followed by lunch on the lot with their Warner Bros. “coaches.”
Championed by WBSF’s President Jon Gilbert and Production Services Department’s head Norm Barnett, the program’s primary goal was to provide students individualized attention and guidance to help improve test scores, increase confidence in their abilities, and serve as a positive role model in their lives.
“To be a local business that can reach out and hopefully impact a young person’s life is truly significant,” said Barnett. “I think a lot of our employees got as much out of it as the students, if not more.”
The program, which began at the start of the school year in September 2012, was designed to focus on providing reading and math tutoring sessions to students in the TLC (Title 1 program) to address the school’s greatest community service need. The WBSF group had 76 employees volunteer for the program, and each of the 38 students worked with a team of two coaches who rotated sessions to ensure that the students met with one of them each week throughout both semesters.
While most benefits of the coaching program will manifest slowly over time, there were some notable broad improvements among the students in terms of attendance, test scores, and reading comprehension.
“We have some individual students who really jumped up three or four grade levels in reading during the year,” said Barnett. “We couldn’t be more proud of them.”