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What High School Volunteers Can Do (Part 2)

Updated: Nov 21, 2021

Given the massive need for struggling students to catch up, resources should be mobilized and deployed. Current recovery plans call for paraprofessional educators, college graduates, and adult volunteers, but there isn’t much talk about younger volunteers—the high school students. Many high school students have the knowledge and experience to tutor younger kids, especially elementary and middle schoolers.

High schoolers are already volunteering for various causes, such as protecting the environment, serving the homeless, working in animal shelters, and of course, tutoring. High school volunteers have the drive and power to make a difference in our communities. Volunteering, in turn, helps us gain new perspectives, apply knowledge to real-world problems, and increase a sense of responsibility to our society. Despite being a win-win for many, the availability of high school volunteers is often constrained by logistic issues such as service location, transportation, and schedules. However, when it comes to tutoring, these kinds of traditional hurdles can be bypassed thanks to the wide application of remote learning entirely.

During the spring semester, HHH sought volunteers from my high school. Over 30 students committed to providing one-to-one tutoring to a partner school. This just followed another volunteer program where also over 30 students responded. Depending on the volunteer overlap between these two programs, the response rate represents a 5-10% hit ratio given the total number of students in grades 9-12.

What do these numbers mean? Using my state of CT as an example, roughly 100 high schools (public and private included) have an academic ranking of A- and above by Niche. Given the total numbers of 10-12th graders in these schools and applying a 5%-10% hit ratio, I estimated that tutoring volunteers could range from 2,400-4,800. With the right campaign, the number could go higher. With proper training, these volunteers can supplement other tutoring programs, and together, we can tackle the urgent problem of Covid-19 learning loss and make a larger positive impact.

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