A few months ago, I wrote about a school district in North Carolina, Guilford County Schools (GCS), hiring high school students to tutor younger kids. Their goal is to use this effective tool to combat Covid-19 learning losses. I wonder how they are doing?
According to Say Yes Guilford, a local education non-profit, tutors (adults and high schoolers included) spent more than 4,000 hours working one-on-one with GCS students over the 2020-21 school year. They served more than 200 students at 45 elementary and 13 middle schools. Additionally, GCS high schoolers earned more than 1,400 service-learning hours tutoring younger students. The tutoring has generated positive results. One of the three programs offered is HELPS (Helping Early Learners with Practice Strategies) for 2-5th graders needing reading support. A performance assessment comparing reading levels from Feb '2021 to May' 2021 showed that 55% of HELPS students learning remotely improved in oral reading fluency, and the ratio was even higher at 94% for learning in person, a pretty good result.
A just-released report by Hechinger Report (https://hechingerreport.org/how-one-district-went-all-in-on-a-tutoring-program-to-catch-kids-up/) had a story about the same district. According to the report, students, tutors, and teachers all could benefit from such tutoring initiatives. "I don't really second-guess myself a lot like I did before. And that's something that I've noticed about myself, because I remember I used to second-guess myself a lot with math or with other subjects. I got more confident with my answers." says one 12-year-old after tutoring.
GCS plans to continue with the tutoring program over the next few years. Good job, GCS, and best wishes to your continued success!