HPU students and faculty have partnered with community organizations to host virtual tutoring sessions for children.
HIGH POINT, N.C., March 22, 2021 – High Point University students are serving as virtual tutors Monday through Friday within the Guilford County School District for children impacted by virtual learning during the global pandemic.
In particular, HPU’s Department of Mathematical Sciences have assisted school-aged children by scheduling virtual tutoring sessions to help with math lessons.
“GCS is excited to partner with HPU to establish this tutoring partnership to assist in mitigating learning loss in math due to the closing of schools because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Faith Freeman, director of STEM in the Guilford County School District. “The most exciting part of this partnership is that tutors will not just serve as tutors, they will also be mentors to the students they are tutoring, which makes this partnership and tutoring program very impactful.”
HPU students enjoy helping the children achieve their academic goals, while also developing positive relationships with them during a physically distant time.
“Tutoring Kamari is a dream,” says Laylah Welch, HPU junior biology major, women and gender studies and civil responsibilities and social innovations minor. “He is always his authentic self. Whether I work with Kamari on mock spelling tests, fractions, or long division, he never fails to remain optimistic, driven and respectful to both me, and to himself as he learns virtually. Connecting with Kamari, as an African American student, is something that I deeply cherish the opportunity to do; as we encourage each other through the partnership between HPU volunteers and the YWCA, I am really looking forward to seeing how he continues to grow.”
“Mathematical Sciences is extremely excited to partner with GCS for tutoring in mathematics,” said Dr. Dandrielle Lewis, chair of HPU’s Department of Mathematical Sciences. “Through this partnership, our students are actively engaging in scholarship and teaching, and our students are helping young girls and boys discover the beauty and power of mathematics and its applications. This partnership is a beautiful extension of what we strive to create both inside and outside the classroom, and I am extremely proud of the involvement of our majors and minors.”
The partnership between HPU and Guilford County Schools began in the fall through the Department of Mathematical Sciences, but the need for student tutors grew to more academic areas. That’s why Dr. Joe Blosser, Robert G. Culp director of Service Learning and associate professor of religion and philosophy at HPU, along with Kayla Quick and Douglas McCollum, HPU AmeriCorp VISTA’s, expanded tutoring opportunities to help students with literacy and general homework assignments. They also expanded tutoring at the Community Writing Center (a partnership between HPU and Mt. Zion Baptist Church), the Carl Chavis YMCA, Salvation Army’s Boys and Girls Club and Communities in Schools of High Point (Ferndale Middle and High Point Central High School).
“We are supporting the district’s request for general tutors by working with new community partners,” said Blosser. “Our students are stepping up and stepping in to help kids close learning gaps, but they’re also offering listening ears, friendly faces and the moments of human connection we all need during COVID-19.”
Through these new partnerships, HPU students have taken time to connect virtually with their assigned child to help answer any questions they have about their homework.
“Virtual tutoring has been a very gratifying challenge,” said Quick. “Doing everything virtually is new, but hearing from community partners that tutoring is working, is my favorite part of it all.”
McCollum, Dr. Cara Kozma, associate professor of English, and Dr. Lynne Murray, instructor of English, host the tutoring sessions at the Community Writing Center using recently awarded funds. They make sure technology is running properly and that guardians and students are tuned in from their homes. Quick manages the YMCA, Salvation Army, and CIS sites. She logs on virtually to make sure students are connected to their sessions at their appropriate times and helps manage the HPU Service Learners by assisting them through their application process to become GCS volunteers.
“Ms. Bea Brown from the Carl Chavis YMCA texts me with updates about the students that HPU tutors are working with,” said Quick. “Students are beginning to feel confident about what they are learning, and parents are excited that their children are getting support. Students get excited when they are doing well in math and have received 100’s on their tests.”
Tutoring throughout the community will continue through the spring semester and likely return in the fall.