Its been over 11 months since the initial school shutdowns due to the spread of Covid-19. That means our kids and families have been in chaos and crisis for nearly a year.
This is not going to be an easy or quick fix. This is going to take a multi-year, focused and intentional effort to address the ramifications of the pandemic with our kids, especially for our most vulnerable students. Thankfully there are organizations, including TutorSmart who rolled up our sleeves, pivoted to deliver services in this new pandemic reality and dug into the work. If you didn't catch our recent article in The Blade. Click here.
Normally, TutorSmart operates within a larger, comprehensive afterschool program but with all the in person programs shut down due to Covid, we reimagined the delivery model and worked with Toledo Public Schools to deliver online tutoring through the TPS Google Classrooms. This actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise. By pivoting to an online format in conjunction with TPS distributing chromebooks and hotspots to their entire student body, we were able to suddenly reach struggling students across the entire district. By going virtual, TutorSmart was able to remove the barriers of where students lived, transportation challenges, and lack of resources at a school or partner level. Some schools have lots of partners and a wide variety of activities and supports for their students while others across the city struggle to get the support and resources that they need. With the support of TPS Superintendent, Dr. Romules Durant, TutorSmart engaged fully with the district to support their elementary school students with data driven, intentional tutoring regardless of which school they attend. This fall we were able to deliver tutoring within a few small community centers (Padua Center, Grace Church, The Art Tatum Zone at Pinewood Tabernacle, and Believe Academy) where we could spread out, mask up and continue to serve kids. Whether in person or online, TutorSmart kids who attend 3-4 hours a week on average are growing 75% faster than their non-tutored peers.... even during a pandemic.
We are so proud of our kids for persevering and showing up everyday. We are proud of our teachers who not only teach a full day but then give even more of their time to tutor in the after school programs.
Our schools can't make up the ground alone. Our kids need consistent one on one and small group intervention and that is where TutorSmart shines. It will take the community coming together to lift kids up and support the classroom teachers who are doing their best to meet the needs of each child. TutorSmart is making a difference by making every hour count.
There is no cost to parents and families for this amazing program. TutorSmart has been blessed by the philanthropic community locally so that we are able to deliver services to every child who needs it, without charging families.
This work would not be possible without passionate and supportive people and the Foundations that they support. Big THANK YOUs go out to the Board of Directors of TutorSmart Toledo for their unwavering support, Greater Toledo Community Foundation, The ProMedica Foundation, The Gibbons Family Foundation, The LaValley Foundation, The Oswald Foundation, RA Stranahan Foundation, The Stranahan Supporting Organization, The Carolyn and Herbert Metzger Foundation and many more.
Also Big THANK YOU to Chick Fil A Toledo, Secor Road Location for the gift cards! Our kids can't get enough!
If you believe that every child should have a chance to succeed in life and would like to support this important work in our community, please reach out and talk to us. Contact Beth Stutler at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tiffany Adamski at email@example.com to find out how you can get involved in the community lift.