A new tutoring program in San Luis Obispo County is helping get students back on track after nearly a year of distance learning.
Big Brothers Big Sisters is an organization that helps meet the needs of local children through mentoring relationships.
Because of distance learning, Big Brothers Big Sisters noticed a great need for tutoring and academic support for daily school work among their local participants.
“Many parents of the children we serve are essential workers. Some are monolingual or have very low education levels and are unable to support their children’s academic needs. Through our ongoing case management, it became apparent that tutoring was a critical need for many of these families. This is especially true for working, single parents who have been relying on teenagers in the family to support their younger sibling’s online learning,” said Big Brothers Big Sisters CEO Jenny Luciano. “Too many of our participants were falling behind in school.”
The organization found a way to close the gap by launching an online tutoring program, largely thanks to high school volunteers and funding from JUSTIN Community Grants and the Harold J. Miossi Charitable Trust.
It launched an online tutoring program in mid-February and provided 104 free one-on-one tutoring sessions and a total of 53 hours of tutoring to local children.
The tutoring sessions are professionally monitored. Tutors support elementary and high school math, reading, language arts, social and physical sciences and often help navigate technology issues that surface.
“It’s such a great support program for kids. They have this opportunity to have sort of, a friend. You don’t usually tell your parents a lot that happens at school but with us, we are closer to their age so they just really open up, and they have a place,” said Arantxa Covarrubies, 16, a tutor with Big Brothers Big Sisters in San Luis Obispo County.
Big Brothers Big Sisters hopes to continue the program and would like to offer both in-person and online tutoring options.
However, to continue the program safely depends on funding.
“We have to hire someone in order to monitor those rooms to ensure child safety. So we’re hoping that the community might come forward and find that this is a valuable service to the community," Luciano said.
To learn more about the program, click here.