EduTutorVA’s Quick Ascent Lifts Students
Created in May of 2020, EduTutorVA has progressed quickly as a resource for students who have been adversely affected by the pandemic. This homegrown not-for-profit’s twofold mission of providing tutors for K-12 students and encouraging careers in education is made up of trained college undergrad and graduate students and alumni. It has moved from start-up to growth in less than a year, currently serving students in Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) as well as the area districts of Alexandria City and Arlington County.
By deploying trained college students and alumni, EduTutorVA offers them a positive introduction to teaching while developing the education workforce, a strategic byproduct of their mission.
Pictured, and clearly “wowed” at her student’s creative writing, is Tami Carsillo, a George Mason University (GMU) Ph.D. candidate, who regularly tutors a handful of students from Whitman Middle School. At Whitman the tutoring is all about writing, a focus which was a strategic decision of district leaders.
One appreciative Whitman student reflected on the first semester’s tutoring help highlighting the academic support, and more: “During the tutoring sessions, I learned better ways to follow prompts, write introductions and conclusions, and it has helped improve my writing skills overall. I also enjoyed the social interactions.”
Catherine Colglazier, EduTutorVA’s liaison to FCPS says, "EduTutorVA is working hard at Whitman to improve student writing by engaging them with capable and enthusiastic tutors like Tami. It’s a win-win situation.” Currently twelve Whitman students are being tutored virtually and in groups, and there’s hope that another GMU tutor will join in February 2021--adding three more writers from Whitman. One of EduTutorVA’s guiding principles is the belief that targeted tutoring can help all students achieve and ensure a more equitable recovery from COVID-19 and beyond.
The massive educational disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic is widening pre-existing gaps for K-12 students so EduTutorVA’s free, small-group tutoring is a welcomed partnership addition to FCPS.
This fall, EduTutorVA boldly launched its pilot programs across three districts simultaneously and now serves 37 students at several Northern Virginia elementary schools and at Whitman Middle School.