Thankfully, we had an existing partnership last summer with the St. Louis County library to offer FREE in-person tutoring at 2 of their branches and had BIG plans to increase to 9 branches this summer. We were able to pivot our plans and offer free virtual tutoring sessions as a pilot with our existing tutors.
And after 300 total tutoring sessions in 6 weeks—we learned a lot!
- Kids are accustomed to learning online.
- Intergenerational connections happened.
- Tutors confidence in their own technical skills increased.
After this successful pilot– we are offering Oasis Tutoring to school districts in a virtual format for the 2020-21 school year. Tutors will connect to students onscreen using a combination of a video conferencing and a reading platform.
Virtual Tutoring is not for everyone. We also developed a low-tech Pen Pal program for tutors who do not want to utilize technology but can remain involved.
While older adult volunteer programs across the nation simply shut down after COVID-19 – we knew we had to get out of our comfort zones and pivot our tutoring program to a virtual model. Our tutors, the school districts and their students needed us more than ever. And other volunteer programs across the nation took notice. I was honored to be a guest on an episode of the second season of the Time and Talent Volunteer Management podcast to share what we learned about pivoting our program. If you have a few minutes—take a listen.
Time and Talent Podcast link