In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Quad Cities students need more help than ever before to succeed in school – and life. To assist families and students with additional supports, United Way Quad Cities has teamed up with local colleges to provide tutoring services, called QC Tutor Connection, to area K-12 students.
“Parents are struggling with keeping their kids are on track and need some assistance with home-based learning,” said Rene Gellerman, president and CEO of United Way Quad Cities. “We’re being proactive in reimagining how we ensure all our kids succeed in school. Education has been and will continue to be the best investment in the future of our region – and best pathway out of poverty. QC Tutor Connection provides a bridge for families looking for learning support and college students who are seeking work experience to earn spending money and want to make a difference.”
The QC Tutor Connection is a web-based platform designed to connect families seeking tutoring services for their children with tutors interested in providing these services.
“We have college students who have lost work or internship opportunities due to the impact of COVID-19,” noted Sandy Cassady, St. Ambrose University vice president of strategic initiatives and United Way Quad Cities board member. “The Quad Cities has top-quality college students who care deeply about our community and people. At every one of local our higher-ed institutions, you will find smart and driven change agents and problem solvers. Together, through the QC Tutor Connection, they will provide Quad Cities K-12 students the support they need to maximize their learning and ensure a strong talent pipeline is being developed. This is a perfect fit.”
Parents and guardians of students in Scott and Rock Island counties who want to take advantage of this program can visit www.QCTutorConnection.org to learn more.
HOW IT WORKS
The platform allows parents to review profiles and find an available tutor specializing in school subjects where their student needs help. Once a parent/guardian finds a tutor who best matches their needs and fits their schedule, they can email the tutor and meet virtually.
Families and tutors will negotiate all details – such as hourly rates and the location and scheduling of tutor sessions – between themselves. For families who cannot afford the tutor’s fee, some limited financial assistance is available. Parents and guardians who wish to learn more about financial assistance should contact Alex Kolker at email@example.com to learn more.
MORE TUTORS ARE NEEDED
As Quad Cities schools switch to fully remote learning models, more tutors are needed to assist students struggling to meet their academic goals. Current college students, graduates and retired teachers are invited to register a tutor profile using the web platform. Tutors should list their areas of expertise, availability and hourly rate to allow parents to find them using QCTutorConnection.org.
“The pandemic is a once-in-a-generation health crisis, but it’s also a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fold in solutions to problems that we’ve put off too long,” said Gellerman. “Even before COVID-19, opportunity and achievement gaps were particularly pronounced for low-income and minority students, and now these are the Quad Citizens who are most impacted by the shutting down of schools and virtual learning.”
“When kids fall behind in school, they get frustrated and check out before they drop out. We have to work together as a community to keep that from happening.”
A late-summer survey by United Way identified that 49 percent of respondents expressed concerns about the prospect of remote learning during the 2020-21 school year. The survey results have guided and informed United Way on how to best support local families through long-term recovery and rebuilding during the time of COVID through programs such as the QC Tutor Connection.
A COMMUNITY INVESTMENT
For those who want to help Quad Cities students, but don’t have the expertise or time to tutor, a donation of $150 can underwrite 10 hours of tutoring for a student. That investment can greatly impact a student’s learning experience during this pivotal time.
“Education opens doors, broadens horizons and sets kids up for success,” Cassady said. “I’m confident that Quad Citizens will rise to the occasion with their time and donations to ensure every student has the support they need to succeed in school, no matter their socioeconomic status. We’re a community that doesn’t give up. When we’re down, we help each other.”
MADE POSSIBLE BY UNITED WAY DONORS
Initial funding to develop and launch the QC Tutor Connection has been provided by Women United, a United Way donor network of 200 local women focused on improving the lives of young Quad Citizens.
Women United aims to have every child school-ready when they enter kindergarten and reading proficiently by third grade, which is the biggest indicator of whether a child will graduate high school.
Further Reading: Learn more about Women United's work.