Two School Without Walls seniors founded Washingtutors, a free tutoring service for DCPS students, in response to the difficulty of distance learning for students, parents and teachers alike after schools closed this spring.
As high school students who finished their senior year this spring entirely through distance learning, Ananya Gulati and Aryaman Arora personally experienced the challenges distance learning entailed and they wanted to do something to help. The two started Washingtutors with the mission of closing the gap in engagement and understanding created by distance learning.
As Gulati and Arora are graduates of the DCPS system, their service is targeted to DCPS students in grades 1-12 with the goal of helping them navigate the intricacies of online platforms and tools, prepare for future crises, and ensure that they are able to keep up the same level of learning that occurred before the pandemic.
Washingtutors offers one-on-one tutoring in all elementary and middle school subjects, all high school honors courses, most AP courses (AP Calculus AB and BC, AP Computer Science, AP Physics, AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP World History, AP U.S. History, AP U.S. Government, AP Literature, and AP Language), Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, Hindi, Python programming, and C++ programming. They also offer enrichment clubs, including, book club, bullet journaling club, and math club.
Tutors work with their students one-on-one each week using the Zoom platform and are focused on personalizing their approach to best fit their student. Tutors and their students sometimes work on school curriculum, but while school is out, tutors bring supplementary material to each session to engage the student in learning and deepen their understanding of the material.
DCPS central administration has supported and promoted Washingtutors efforts by offering administrative guidance and promoting their services to school principals and students. However, as a free, volunteer-based program, Washingtutors’ success is entirely dependent on volunteers in the DC community coming forward to give time each week to help a student. Currently, all of their tutors are high school and college students in the DC area that are engaged, accomplished and active members of the DCPS community. Gulati and Arora encourage anyone who is interested in helping to contact them. To become a volunteer tutor, fill out the form at http://washingtutors.org/volunteer-with-us.html, email [email protected], or call 571-758-2905.
Washingtutors is actively looking for new DCPS students. Especially with so many summer programs closed, the program is a wonderful opportunity for kids to solidify their academic confidence, catch up on material that is still shaky and prepare to start the new academic year strong. To sign up to be tutored, students can visit http://washingtutors.org/book-with-us.html and fill out the form.
As a new organization, Washingtutors needs help spreading the word so that students can get the help that they need. Please feel free to spread the word about this wonderful organization that is stepping up to provide a positive experience for students during this challenging time. Find more information at their website washingtutors.org or follow them on twitter @washingtutors.
Sarah Cymrot is a student and occasional contributor to the Hill Rag. You can reach her at [email protected]