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College Honors students fill need for K-12 tutors

Reaching out to fellow students to see how they were faring with their online classes last semester,  YC Student Support Services TRIO Ambassador and College Honors Student Autumn Re discovered many were parents struggling to help their children learn online, too.

“They would tell me they couldn’t keep up with their children’s school work and their own at the same time.“  Invariably, Autumn, an aspiring social worker, would connect YC students to free tutoring at the YC Learning Center. “But I couldn’t do anything for their children.”

Enter the YC College Honors Program’s new tutoring program for grades K-12. The community service launched this fall with about 22 YC honors students currently available to help area youngsters with a variety of subjects, with study skills, stress management or even just to talk via Zoom.

The tutoring program is the brainchild of CHP student Maggie Nardo of Prescott Valley, a chemistry major who already was tutoring YC students on an informal basis. “I’ve always been the kind of person who learns better when I’m teaching someone else, “ she said.

With opportunities for in-person community service restricted by the pandemic, Maggie proposed tutoring as a safe project for the Honors Program this year and one that fulfills a real community need.  Initially, tutors were made available to the children of YC employees. But, acknowledging a greater need based on Autumn’s outreach experience, the program evolved to welcome everyone needing academic assistance and a friendly ear.

The YC CHP currently is promoting the tutoring program in area schools. To take advantage, K-12 students send an email to a listed tutor to schedule a Zoom appointment.

Autumn’s first tutoring session this semester was more of a talk – “a needed connection” sought by a high school sophomore, she said. “I really love kids. I’ve been enjoying it.”

YC Honors tutors have undergone Zoom training and have access to college technical and teaching resources. “The skillset of how to teach someone something is valuable,” Maggie said, noting that CHP tutors will also learn leadership skills. “I think it’s a really good opportunity for everyone involved.”

Maggie and Autumn asserted that the CHP program is flexible –the right academic and schedule fit are ensured for all who access the service. They both foresee the program growing and existing beyond the current semester, possibly with other YC student organizations lending a hand.

“That would be a good problem to have,” Autumn said of the potential future need for more tutors. “The sky is the limit with the concept. I would love to see it live on.”

To access the YC CHP tutoring service, visit www.yc.edu/CHP.