The Dick Hillier Tutoring Program targets kindergarten through fifth grade students that are below grade level in reading. This unique and very successful program is a project of the Rio Rancho Rotary Club.
The program’s success is attributable to its uniqueness. It allows the student's own teacher to spend extra time and provide individual attention to the underperforming student. Tutoring takes place in the student's own classroom, with their own printed material and their own teacher. This relaxed atmosphere allows the teacher to provide individual attention to each student.
What do teachers, parents, and students
have to say about the Dick Hillier Tutoring Program?
About Our Program
The Rotary Club of Rio Rancho has been involved with the tutoring of students since 2010. It began with first through third grades and now grades kindergarten through fifth grades are included. Dick Hillier, a 30-year Rotarian, was the principal driver of this program and was responsible for growing the program from one school to four Rio Rancho elementary schools. Dick passed away in 2015 and because of his passion for the program, the Rotary Club named the tutoring program in his honor.
The Dick Hillier Tutoring Program recognizes that certain students fall into a category not currently supported by any special state or federal program. These students are close to achieving grade level performance, but will benefit from additional help. The Dick Hillier Tutoring Program pays teachers a small stipend to participate. This program allows participating teachers to have a maximum of six students from their own class. These students will be tutored before or after the instructional day to help them reach proficiency.
This program has received positive reviews from educators, parents and students. Not only have the tutored students increased their reading skills, they have improved in other areas as well. They showed increased confidence and began to participate in class discussions and in some cases started helping other students with the class activities. The teachers have said that the program has made the students’ classroom experience better.
Currently there are seven Rio Rancho Elementary Schools with 16 teachers who have five to six students participating in the program. Our goal is to expand even further. The eventual goal is to include all elementary schools in Rio Rancho and to reach out to schools within Sandoval County. These students will advance to the next grade with a firm grasp of reading. It is anticipated that with these strong academic roots, the students will thrive as they progress through their educational experience.
Cielo Azul Elementary School
Joe Harris Elementary School
Maggie Cordova Elementary School
Puesta del Sol Elementary School
Rio Rancho Elementary School
Sandia Vista Elementary School
Vista Grande Elementary School
Backpack Food Program
Providing groceries for children and their families
The Rotary Club of Rio Rancho is involved with the Backpack Food Program that provides nutrition for families experiencing food insecurity. The program offers free groceries for weekends and breaks, and includes enough food to make several healthy meals. This allows children to return to school on Monday ready to learn. The backpacks are packed every week on Fridays and on the day before a school break by school personnel, who then distribute them to the children.
If you are interested in providing a donation, please Email Us.
The Dick Hillier Tutoring Program is making news
I like spending time after school with my teacher. She has helped me with my reading and I feel very good about myself. My teacher even asks me to help other kids in my class.
Not only did I see a big difference in [my son's] learning; he did as well. He also loved staying after school to go to tutoring.
I have seen an increase in their confidence, and they are the first ones to share and read to their classmates.
Donate To Our Program
The Dick Hillier Tutoring Program continues to receive positive reviews from educators, parents and students. (Click here to read reviews from the 2021-2022 school year.) Other elementary schools are aware of this program's success and have requested the program for their underperforming students.
Our desire is to expand, with the eventual goal of including all elementary schools in Rio Rancho as well as reaching out to schools within Sandoval County. Donations and sponsorships help us to continue to grow the Dick Hillier Tutoring Program, which enables us to provide the benefits of the program to children in other schools and communities.
Please consider making a donation and becoming a sponsor!
The Rio Rancho Rotary Foundation is a 501 (C)(3) tax exempt organization registered through the State of New Mexico (#85-0449126). Your donations are deductible and upon request, a donation letter for tax purposes will be provided.
V. Sue Cleveland, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Rio Rancho Public Schools
Rio Rancho Public Schools has an outstanding relationship with the Rotary Club of Rio Rancho. Over the years, we have partnered on a number of projects. One of these projects is the Dick Hillier Tutoring Program...We very much appreciate everything the Rotary Club of Rio Rancho does to support our schools and to make our students shine!
Our daughter does better in smaller class sizes and she just needs help with her reading overall. Tutoring meets both needs. Thank you so much for offering this service and making it convenient at the school...
Not only have the children made academic growth; they have grown socially and emotionally as well.
[Our son] made tremendous strides in his reading and comprehension abilities as a result [of this program]. We are so proud of him when he reads to us with confidence. Again, thank you.