The novel coronavirus pandemic has caused immense disruption to the lives of millions of Americans, and children are among those hit the hardest. Schools closed, leading to increased levels of learning loss, while social supports that many children rely on were also removed due to COVID-19 safety protocols. As a result, nonprofit houses in New York City have been struggling to meet the needs of their young clients during these trying times.
Despite this grim picture, there is a ray of hope: the students at Stuyvesant High School in New York City.
Through initiatives such as its student-led STEM Education program and its Chapter Challenge Program, Stuyvesant students have been trying to assist New York City’s children during this difficult period. From online tutoring sessions geared towards helping students understand course material better, to interactive projects designed to engage youth and teach them important coding skills – these programs are helping bridge the education gap for disadvantaged children across the city even as social distancing remains in effect.
Moreover, other activities such as assembling care packages for underprivileged families and collecting books for reading night donation drives – all spearheaded by Stuyvesant students working with local organisations – have allowed them to forge meaningful relationships while showing kindness and compassion towards those who need it most. Through these acts of service, we can be reminded that no matter how much our world may be struggling right now, there can still be small victories along the way if young people choose to take up arms and lend a helping hand when it is needed most.
Stuyvesant Students Tutor New York City Children Amid Covid-19 Pandemic
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, a group of Stuyvesant High School students have organised a tutoring program to help New York City children stay on track with their education.
These incredible students are providing free online one-on-one tutoring to ensure that children can keep up with their studies despite the current restrictions. This tutoring program is an amazing opportunity for students to help their peers and positively impact their community.
Let’s take a look at the specifics of this program:
How the program started
The Stuyvesant Students Tutoring Program was started in 2020 to help New York City children learn during the pandemic. The program began with a group of 11 dedicated Stuyvesant High School students who wanted to help children and families impacted by the pandemic. By creating this tutoring program, these students have enabled children from around New York City to continue their education even when traditional schooling was made difficult or impossible.
Since its inception, the Stuyvesant Students Tutoring Program has grown in size and reach. In addition to helping out local students, the program has spread beyond New York City and now includes over 800 tutors and partners worldwide. From schools in California to European universities, these tutors are providing mentorship and guidance to many student learners by modernising education and making it accessible no matter their location or circumstance.
The program values quality education for all and seeks to bridge the gap between traditionally underserved communities, giving them access to higher-quality educational resources that may have previously been out of reach. The heart of the Stuyvesant Student Tutoring Program is not just about providing educational resources but teaching children real skills that will be foundational for their future success. By providing a platform for elementary through high schoolers alike, each student can explore exciting topics such as:
- Computer science
- Writing & grammar rules
- Public speaking practice
- Test prep assistance
- Interview preparation
from gifted tutors who may not have had prior teaching experience or formal training.
What the program offers
The Stuyvesant Students Tutoring Program offers individualised, one-on-one or small group sessions for K through 12th grade students. Participating tutors from Stuyvesant High School assist with a variety of academic needs. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Homework Assistance and Academic Coaching: Tutors help students stay on top of their studies by helping them understand difficult concepts, setting goals, and addressing any barriers hindering their learning progress.
- Test Prep: Tutors can review practice tests and other exam materials with students to help them prepare for upcoming standardised tests like the SHSAT or SAT.
- Admissions Counselling: As a part of this program, tutors also offer free advice on preparing for college admissions—including essay writing advice, resume development tips, interview prep strategies, and more.
- Free Mentorship: Experienced mentors in the program help answer any questions related to high school experiences and assist younger students during the transition into high school.
The Stuyvesant Students Tutoring Program is entirely free and open online or in person (where allowed). With the guidance of trained faculty directors Dr. Payam Boromand & Ms. Mary Tanuashvili, Stuyvesant High School student volunteers work supporting local New York City children during this challenging time amid the pandemic restrictions that have been put in place since 2020.
Who is eligible to participate
The Stuyvesant Students Tutoring Program (STTP) is a remote platform offering free tutoring services from Stuyvesant High School seniors in New York City. The program’s purpose is to provide children living in underserved communities with access to quality education during the pandemic.
To be eligible for the program, students must be in grades Pre-K through 12 and have C or better average grades in all classes. Priority will be given to those attending underperforming schools and those demonstrating financial need.
To apply, parents or guardians should fill out an application form provided on the STTP website which includes details on the student’s academic performance and home circumstances. After submitting their application, applicants will be contacted by STTP staff within two weeks via email or phone.
Students approved for enrollment must attend an orientation session covering topics such as tutoring policies and procedures, safety protocols, and expectations while attending sessions with their tutors. Each student is also supplied with flashcards, basic math tools like protractors and rulers, reading material books and workbooks tailored to the child’s grade level before joining tutoring sessions.
Impact of the Program
Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, Stuyvesant High School students have been providing free tutoring services to New York City children in need of extra academic support. Using an innovative online platform, these students have been able to serve as positive role models and help bridge the gaps in learning caused by the pandemic-driven closures of schools.
In this article, we will look at some of the impacts that this program has had on students, families and the communities in which they live:
How the program has helped New York City children
The Stuyvesant Helpers Program has immensely impacted the lives of New York City children and their families amid the pandemic. The program recruits students from Stuyvesant High Schools in New York City to volunteer as virtual tutors for local students enrolled in grades K-8. With parents balancing work and mentoring their children, engaging volunteers from Stuyvesant High School ensures that NYC youth receive the personalised education they need in a remote environment.
Specifically, virtual tutors recruited by The Stuyvesant Helpers program provide one-on-one assistance to help students:
- Understand and complete school curriculum
- Enhance their academic skills
- Increase their confidence
The student volunteers can also assist with technology issues and provide other help related to remote learning such as research paper editing and study tips. In addition, they have access to resources such as guidance counsellors and college admissions counsellors who can offer remote support on course selection and stress management during this uncertain time.
Most importantly, the program has managed to reach many low-income families who lack sufficient resources for home internet or computer access or the capability to assist their children with online classes. In addition, these student volunteers have provided over 200 hours of free virtual tutoring lessons to increase equity among NYC youth during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Challenges faced by the program
The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the educational system into disarray, with public and private schools making plans for how to continue providing instruction to their respective community of students. A special challenge is posed by the Stuyvesant High School project he is working on, which brings city high schoolers together with NYC elementary school children living in low-income communities.
The current program has many components that are both complex and cutting edge. For example, the participating high schoolers teach lessons via video conferencing technology; they also deliver educational materials to the elementary schools and help design interactive activities for the young students. The goal is holistic instruction, addressing questions such as: What does learning look like in a remote environment? How can students collaborate virtually? How do we make classroom learning relevant in real-world settings?
However, there have been several challenges faced by this ambitious program:
- Finding reliable internet access for the elementary schoolers
- Ensuring that these online classes are engaging enough to keep kids interested
- Innovating solutions while providing vibrant digital learning experiences
- Addressing security and privacy issues to ensure that student data remains protected when shared across platforms