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Girls Go for Gold With Tutoring Plan

August 23, 1999|MILO PEINEMANN

Most teens spent the summer avoiding any thought of school, but three Moorpark Girl Scouts spent their summer thinking about it. Or rather, about what happens after school.

The girls hope to earn Scouting's highest honor, the Gold Award, by creating an after-school tutoring program for at-risk youth. What started in April as a simple plan has ballooned into a $122,800-a-year proposal to include children throughout Moorpark.

Cynthia Rundgren, Holli Christensen and Jennifer MacDonald, all 17 and incoming seniors at Moorpark High School, say the city would serve a great need by expanding Moorpark Unified School District's after-school tutoring program for at-risk kids. They especially want to target downtown's Latino community.

The girls plan to take on the fund-raising obligations for existing programs at Moorpark United Methodist Church and the Boys & Girls Club of Moorpark. They also want to create new programs at Flory School and Community Christian Church. They plan to target each of the programs, which now serve kids of all ages, at specific age groups.

This would free up organizations whose services currently overlap, so they no longer have to ask the same sources for funding, and it would offer more support to the students with the greatest need, the girls say.

The project requires the ongoing sponsorship of Moorpark business and philanthropic organizations, they said. This would cost an estimated $30,700 for each site, $11,100 of which would go for a part-time program director and an assistant program director. The rest would be used for materials, events and nutritional snacks for students.

While a Gold Award project is supposed involve about 50 hours of work, the three girls passed the 50-hour mark long ago, they said.

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