Emily McLaughlin made a vow as she patted Elaine Taubman’s arm.
"I’m going to get a 100 on my math test," the Laguna Elementary School thirdgrader said.
If Emily does, Taubman may have had something to do with it. The 75-year-old Scottsdale woman tutors the girl once a week as part of Via Linda Senior Center’s Intergenerational Tutoring.
The program, which began in 1995, matches members of the senior center with firstthrough fifth-grade students at Laguna.
The senior tutors visit the school Tuesdays and Thursdays and offer sessions from 3 to 4 p.m. and 4 to 5 p.m.
"It’s really a way to promote friendship between the seniors and the children," said Melissa Forte, the program’s assistant coordinator.
Lou Wilcox moved to Scottsdale after retiring from the Chicago Police Department. The former police sergeant said he has tutored for five years because it enables him to share knowledge with younger generations and gives him a sense of connection.
"Being with these kids helps to fill a void left by not being able to see my grandkids as often as I’d like," he said.
Wilcox tutors fourthgraders EJ Jones and Katie Marehildon.
EJ said the time spent with Wilcox is "cool because I get to learn new stuff."
Katie nodded her head enthusiastically and said, "This is making me do a lot better in school."
During her career as an elementary school teacher, Claire Altman said she trained teachers in Pennsylvania. Now, she tutors fourthgrader Brittany Dollarhide.
Tuesday, Altman and Brittany were busy practicing multiplication by nine.
"I’m glad my mom signed me up for this," Brittany said. "I really like it."
"I’m so glad to hear that," Altman said, hugging the girl and smiling. "Because I really like it, too."