ALLENDALE, Mich. — Grand Valley State University is expanding its K-12 tutoring program to enhance student support and tutor availability.
K-12 Connect, which began in March 2020 in response to learning loss during the pandemic, will continue to offer its free “Homework Help” program to families throughout the state, according to a news release Wednesday.
Volunteer tutors – mainly GVSU students – connect with K-12 students who have provided their grade level and the subject where they need help, according to Amirah Vosburgh, project lead for K-12 Connect.
Vosburgh added that the program resonated quickly with students and educators, with more than 2,400 K-12 students participating in more than 15,000 tutoring sessions last year.
Two additional programs this year include “Homework Help Plus,” which matches GVSU tutors with students to provide support specific to the needs of each school, and “Targeted Reading Tutoring,” which provides K-8 students with skill-based reading instruction in one-on-one learning environments.
Tutoring can take place day or night.
The programs are open to all district schools, charter schools, private schools and community-based organizations and are set to start operating Oct. 4 – though services can start at any time during the year.
Tutoring will be offered virtually and in-person “when feasible.”
Some changes were made based on feedback to last year’s program.
For example, drop-in tutoring for high school students wasn’t successful, Vosburgh said, leading to training that “emphasizes the need to build relationships with students to foster the right learning environment.”
“We’re really looking for community input and feedback as we continue to evolve and grow a program that supports students who need it most,” Vosburgh said.
Leaders foresee working with the entire community, offering training to parents, older siblings and child care workers to support kids’ reading growth, said Steven Hodas, executive director of the GV NextEd Accelerator, which houses K-12 Connect.
“The goal is to improve people’s lives,” Hodas said. “How do we develop programs that best fill needs?”