JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Two nonprofits work together to combat the loss of summer learning throughout Tennessee. This is an even more pressing problem due to the COVID-19 pandemic which has banned children from traditional classrooms since March.
The Bill and Crissy Haslam Foundation, in partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs in Tennessee and other youth service organizations across the state, launched the Tennessee Tutoring Corps to provide summer learning opportunities for students in K-6 classes whose education was disrupted by a pandemic.
Jayme Simmons, Executive Director of the Bill and Crissy Haslam Foundation, said Bianca Marais from News Channel 11 that the Corps aims to: “provide small group guidance through our Boys and Girls Clubs throughout the state of Tennessee in the field of Mathematics and the Arts of English. Tutors will be assigned to different club sites and work with young students we know during the summer tend to lose academic learning, but are exacerbated by the fact that many of these children have not been in school since March. “
Tutoring commitments will be between 7 and 8 weeks, starting June 15 – from June to August, at 18 Boys & Girls Clubs across the state – 8 of which are in the Tri-Cities Region.
“This is an ambitious program, we started talking about it maybe about 4 weeks ago, seeing the real need to serve our students who have dropped out of school, again, since March. The Governor and Crissy are very passionate about education, especially education for our students who tend to be left far behind during the summer. Seeing the loss of learning, knowing that it is a real problem, and then knowing that many of these children have an additional eight weeks of school that they missed at the end of this school year, they feel very excited, let’s go ahead and take advantage of the fact that we have lots of students that’s great this summer who – yes, wants to get $ 1,000, but more importantly, wants to be part of a bigger effort, part of the corps, giving back to their community, serving students this summer in the light of what we went through, and hopefully, in placing these tutors throughout the state, and with the children this summer, based on what we know from research, which can fundamentally put students on a different trajectory when they return to school in the fall, assuming they will return to school in the fall. We want to overcome the learning gap that really looks after all the time that most of these children don’t go to school, “Simmons explained.
One such site affected by the guidance program is Johnson City / Washington County Boys & Girls Club, where Bianca Marais from News Channel 11 spoke with President and CEO Robin Crumley.
“We were fortunate enough to reopen last week, but for a small number of children. So, where our summer program is 200+, we only accept 40 children at this time, “Crumley said.” So, we will coordinate tutors to find out the direction they need to help them be successful and also to help children our children become successful. “
This club usually caters to children of all ages during the summer holidays of school, but coronavirus has changed that.
“What we are currently concentrating on in our criteria is children who cannot go home alone, 5th and down,” he explained. “This summer’s environment is more like a classroom, but we are good at making things fun, so we will change it.”
Crumley said that the non-profit organization handled more than just tutoring this summer.
“Many of the changes we made, first of all, were to redesign the room we were going to use, so make sure that if you are the first person to come that day, you are assigned to sit at table 1, if you are the second person, you sit at table two. So, just doing social distance without making them think about what they need to do, wear a mask. Before they came to the building, we measured the temperature, we asked the CDC guidelines, “he said.
The Boys & Girls Club staff will also be part of the direct guidance process.
“The tutoring process will consist of pre and post exams, so we will see how concentrated effort will make a difference in the lives of the children throughout the summer,” Crumley said.
He said they were Boys & Girls Club staff who ran the tests.
“It is very interesting to know that even in a pandemic, partnerships can be created, and what a wonderful opportunity to overcome a problem that is always there – the loss of summer learning – and partnering with people who want to be tutors and can become tutors, with staff who know how directing it, with children who need to use it, “Crumley added.
The Johnson City / Washington County Boys & Girls Club took a number of additional precautions due to the COVID-19 pandemic:
Volunteers who complete the entire course will get $ 1,000.
Interested candidates can submit applications at Tennessee Tutoring Corps website before noon on Friday, May 29th.
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