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Cardinal NEST Campuses Continue to SOAR

Lamar University (LU) students began virtual volunteering and tutoring at several Beaumont ISD campuses in the fall. 

Students Occupationally and Academically Ready (SOAR) is a commission for access to higher education through service-learning opportunities on Cardinal NEST campuses. LU students work in small group guidance sessions with BISD scholars in their NEST and community engagement events. 

With the pandemic currently closing campuses to visitors, LU students have found great success virtually volunteering Monday–Thursdays. They meet via Zoom with their Cardinal NEST campus scholars to read through the ROAR program and work with Amelia’s ELAR fourth-grade in tutoring. 

“The LU ROAR volunteers go above and beyond to provide remote reading assistance to our students because of the COVID outbreak,” said Charlton-Pollard Reading Coach Judy Pham. “Their patience and positive attitude all have led to our students having much more confidence in their reading.”  

Blanchette Reading Coach Dana Fontenot agreed. “LU SOAR has really ignited a spark in reading for our second-grade students and they look forward to reading to the tutors,” she said.   

The LU Office of Community Relations, Economic Development and Student Access created the first NEST (Navigating Excellence Success and Triumph) innovative learning lab at Pietzsch-MacArthur in April of 2019 and expanded with labs at Blanchette and Charlton-Pollard in September the same year. Amelia is the next campus scheduled for a NEST.

“Our reading scores are SOARing! We are so grateful for the support we are receiving from LU SOAR,” said Amelia principal Yvonne DuPont. “Our students are reaping the academic benefits from Lamar University, giving back to the community.”