Our successful new in-school tutoring program for the kids we serve ran into a problem in March – schools were closed. The START program was in the second year of its two-year pilot and was receiving all sorts of positive reviews. From schools. From students. Funded by charitable donations from the United Way KFLA, the City of Kingston, the Anna & Edward Churchill Foundation, the Davies Foundation, the William James Henderson Foundation and others, START provided qualified paid tutors to help the kids we serve with in-school tutoring. It is well-documented that children and youth receiving services from a Children’s Aid Society or other equivalent agency have more academic problems in schools than their peers. The program paid for in-class tutoring for children receiving services delivered in local schools. Tutors worked one-on-one with students in elementary, middle and high schools in both the Public and Catholic school systems.
But then schools closed, and kids started learning from home.
We weren’t going to let COVID-19 stop START. So, we put START online, with tutors using video chat to contact students and their parents and caregivers directly. We also created a “PenPal” system where we used START funds to send school readiness packages to the homes that needed them, including writing materials, paper and more. So far, it’s working, and working well. Schools may be closed but we’re still reaching kids who need help with education.
Thanks to our staff and tutors for quickly adapting the program to meet the need of the families we serve. Thanks to our clients for their help making it happen. And thanks to our many supporters who have supported START with their donations.
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