Volunteer tutors essential at high-poverty Charlotte schools

Volunteer tutors essential at high-poverty Charlotte schools

When the coronavirus crisis hit Charlotte, the United Way of Central Carolinas and Foundation For The Carolinas partnered to launch the COVID-19 Response Fund.

The fund supports a wide range of nonprofits, assisting people most affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Importantly, this fund will help not just those who get sick, but also those who are economically impacted, such as families of students who cannot afford educational materials and supplies needed for remote learning.

One of the recipients was Heart Math Tutoring, a math intervention program that connects volunteer tutors with below grade level students in high-poverty elementary schools in Charlotte.

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As North Carolina schools transitioned to remote learning in March, the Heart Math Tutoring program staff reallocated their efforts toward creating at-home resources for students and families.

And after receiving a $20,000 grant, the organization was able to purchase the necessary technology and program supplies to implement summer programming.

“The COVID-19 Response Grant is providing summer tutoring to 70 students with an added benefit of enabling Heart Math Tutoring to test and refine a virtual tutoring model to be ready to launch for over 1,000 students in fall 2020,” said Emily Gaffney executive director of Heart Math Tutoring.

This past school year, the organization arranged tutoring for over 1,100 students across 23 schools. Gaffney hopes that, while even using a virtual model, they can continue to unlock doors to future opportunities for students.

“We know that students and volunteers can make powerful connections ― even over a computer screen ― and that many students need extra help in early math skills,” Gaffney said.

Heart Math Tutoring is one of many organizations working to improve the quality of education.

According to Classroom Central, about 127,000 children in the Charlotte region lack the basic school supplies they need to be successful in school.

Since 1997, in partnership with Classroom Central and Communities in Schools of Charlotte-Mecklenburg, the WSOC-TV 9 School Tools program has collected school supplies, which are then distributed free to students in grades K-12.

For many families, the needs of the home sometimes outweigh the needs at school. When a family must choose between buying enough food for the evening dinner or paying the power bill, the pressure of purchasing school supplies is an added expense that families can’t afford.

A 9 School Tools financial donation program is in place with different levels of giving that will support the needs of Classroom Central. Donors can equate their monetary donation to what can be supplied by Classroom Central.

Here are some of the giving levels:

  • A donation of $9 will help provide homework supplies for students.
  • A donation of $25 will help fill a student’s backpack with school supplies.
  • A donation of $50 will supply a teacher with essential school items.
  • A donation of $100 will supply an entire class with STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) kits.

Learn more about 9 School Tools at www.9SchoolTools.com.