Registration for summer programs

We celebrated the end of a stellar academic year of tutoring on May 21st, but you don't have to stay away from MOI for too long! Our doors will still be open as we offer a variety of summer programs:

  • We reopen for free homework help on Tuesdays in July
    • July 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th; 3:00-5:00pm
  • In August, we're holding our first-ever Summer Poetry Camp for English Language Learners. Register for free to learn English skills in a fun, literary environment:
    • August 4-8: Grades 6-11
    • August 11-15: Grades 1-5
    • Mon-Fri; 9am-12pm
  • We'll continue to offer creative writing workshops this summer, such as "Writing Slam and Poetry Jam" and "Journaling as Time Travel." Stay tuned for an announcement of the dates for these exciting workshops!

To register for any of these programs (as a student or as a volunteer,) just get in touch with us: call 612-367-7827 or email ariel@rockstarsupplyco.org.

The Not-So-Bad Guys: "Telling the Other Side of the Story"- Writing Workshop

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Ages 8-12

February 8, 2013; 1-3pm

What if the Big Bad Wolf just had a bad case of the allergies?  And maybe Cinderella wasn’t so nice after all … just who was calling her stepsisters “ugly,” anyway?  There are lots of “good guy” and “bad guy” pairings in stories we’ve all heard, and maybe the characters we thought were heroes haven’t been telling the whole truth.  In this workshop, we’ll give villains the chance to share their side of the story!

Click here to register 

Location: RSS Co. Headquarters 2388 University Ave W, Saint Paul, MN 55114

About the Instructor:

A New York native, Meghan Pipe is Rock Star Supply Co.’s Writing Workshop Coordinator.  She holds a BA in Creative Writing from the State University of New York at Geneseo, and has a background in teaching and museum education.

Watch for falling gummy bears!

We asked some of our after-school program students what they'd rather have falling from the sky for these past 24 hours of sleetish snow.  Their answers...aren't surprising.  Who wouldn't want candy falling from the sky?

Mike&Ike's thundersnow.

Mike&Ike's thundersnow.

"There it was showering down from the sky like hail.  It sparkled like the jewels in my earrings.  Can you guess what I'm talking about?  Gummy bears!  Delicious and scrumptious gummy bears.  Ever since I put that red, cherry gummy bear in my mouth in first grade, I've been obsessed with the stuff.  Why this candy?  Duh they are the best candy ever, and they don't get that dirty when they hit the ground.  Also, anybody can eat gummy bears.  They're not too sweet, not too chewy, and not too...gummy.  Now, excuse me, I have to go get an umbrella and a bucket to catch those falling bear.  Goodbye!"

-Auden, grade 7

"If I chose what was falling from the sky it would be EVERY CANDY IN THE WORLD because I like every kind of candy in the world.  But my favorite food is rice."

-Sumaya, grade 3

"One day I was playing outside with my brother and sister when all of a sudden a Mike&Ike fell on my head.  Then I looked up and saw a ton of Mike&Ike's falling from the sky.  I then ran inside to grab an umbrella to catch them in and I stood out there for the rest of the day.  (WITH BREAKS.)"

-Evan, grade 7

Rock Star Supply Co. + Como High = SUCCESS

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 "Miss C!  When are the tutors coming back?"  That sentence is a straight-up symphony to my ears.  Welcome to the "Achieve" program, where myself, a teacher and other school personnel work with our at-risk freshmen at Como Park Senior High School.  The students vary in personality, background and social skills, but they all have one thing in common: something has kept them from being academically successful and often they are failing multiple courses.  It could be from learning challenges, economic and social disparities, a language barrier or a lack of basic study skills.  Whatever the reason, they are placed in the Achieve program and we make every effort possible to make sure they succeed in their freshmen year.

            Rock Star Supply Company is an enormous component to this recipe for success.  Every Friday, the smiling faces of our Rock Star Supply C. volunteers come in the classroom and I get to pair them up consistently with the same students.  We do a little warm-up activity, and then the rest of the hour is devoted to precious work time, where kids pull out assignments they need to finish or material they don't understand. 

            Commence Rock Star Supply Co. Fridays!  I look around the room and see my students bent over their worksheets, nodding and smiling as their Rock Star Supply Co. coaches them on.  They don't just do schoolwork; they get to learn about each other's lives and form a bond.  If school work is finished, we let them play games together or talk about post-secondary options.

            Our students are certainly academically capable; however, many of them find it challenging to concentrate independently for more than 10 minutes at a time.  While teachers practice the delicate art of varied instruction and implement a variety of activities in order to maintain students' focus, nothing impacts a student's ability to concentrate more than a one-on-one tutoring session.  Most of the time, they just need someone to sit with them and assist them in staying on task. 

            The relationship piece to volunteer tutoring is on an equal level with academic assistance.  It's impossible for school staff to form a relationship with every student who walks through the door, especially when a teacher has over 120 teenage students to teach, assess and coach.  Having a volunteer enter an urban high school and create a consistent and meaningful connection with a student is immeasurable.  The students get that valued one-on-one attention which, in their everyday lives, is scarce. 

            Friday ends, the weekend comes and goes, and classes begin once again on Monday.  I hear rumblings in the background of how much they wished they had a tutor today.  I smile and tell them I am wishing the same thing.  Everyone looks forward to Rock Star Supply Co. Fridays.

Maria "Miss C" Cocchiarella is the Intervention Specialist at Como Park Senior High School.