Sandy Springs Education Force’s latest initiative is a brand-new, on-line tutoring program, aptly named the SSEF Tutoring Program. SSEF conceived and initiated this important program to support students during this challenging pandemic period.
After securing proper approvals from the principals and Fulton County Schools for the program, SSEF board members connected with Isabella Stahlman, an 11th grader at Riverwood High School, who recruited her fellow students to work as tutors. SSEF provided an orientation program for the students to advise them about how to connect with and inspire elementary school students during online tutoring sessions. The program pairs high school students and alumni of Riverwood High School’s National Honors Society with elementary school students at Ison Springs.
Isabella Stahlman is happy to participate in helping the program launch by encouraging her peers to get involved. “What has been most special for me so far has been hearing from them how much they enjoy working with the students and seeing how quickly they can have an impact on a child’s life through a virtual connection.”
Zuri Davis, ESOL Paraprofessional at Ison Springs, is the program coordinator. She explains:
“Our Ison Springs students need this program more now than ever. The way school is currently structured has altered the way students interact with each other and makes it harder to reach out for help. This tutoring program is giving students the chance to engage with role models and gets them excited to work on a subject they find difficult. We’re only a couple of weeks in, but I know that our tutors are already making an impact on their students’ education!”
One important aspect of the program is that tutors are encouraged to build a relationship with their students. Hannah Levy (pictured), one of the volunteer tutors, really enjoys working with her student, Konnor. She explains, “What I like most about this tutoring program is being encouraged to block off time to naturally converse…to build a valuable and meaningful friendship.” She appreciates that her volunteerism provides an opportunity to make a direct impact in the community.
Ralph Liniado, another Riverwood volunteer, was happy to have this chance to work with younger students. He also commented on how important it is to connect with students. He said, “I have been surprised by how willing Zainab is to talk and share during our tutoring sessions.”
Fatoumata, one of the first-grade students commented, “I can’t wait to learn with my tutor! She’s so nice.”
Ison Springs principal Sara White noted, “We are so excited to collaborate with Riverwood students and appreciate the work they’re doing with our students!”
We’re pleased with the early response to the program.