Thanks to our Virtual Homework Help program, our girls can receive one-on-one help with schoolwork, even when they can’t physically come to a Girls Inc. campus. Over Zoom, our girls regularly meet with volunteers to work through math problems, get help on science or English assignments, or talk out study strategies.
Girls Inc. piloted this program last spring to help girls avoid losing ground academically after their schools closed and went virtual due to COVID-19, says Courtney Taylor-El, Director of Special Programs & Recruitment. It was so popular, we brought it back in October with a few changes to maximize results.
Instead of meeting in small groups, each girl is now paired with one volunteer. The same pairs meet twice a week for two weeks. Girls can choose just one two-week session or several, depending on the level help they need.
“We felt the one-on-one experience would allow the girls to develop a real mentoring relationship with their volunteer,” Taylor-El explains. “We also thought with just one girl and one volunteer, there would be fewer distractions and each girl would get more help in the specific subjects she needed.”
Our girls explain they have learned many valuable study techniques and feel more confident in tackling difficult subjects, and our volunteers love the program too.
“I enjoyed the staff (so friendly always and connected with the girls to make all the students feel valued!) and helping out the student I was assigned,” one volunteer told us. “It was a great experience!” Another helper said she loved simply “interacting with my student and seeing how excited she was about learning.”
Girls filled all slots for this fall’s sessions within six hours, Taylor-El reports – so more volunteers are needed and welcome! Click here to fill out an application and start your background check. Each new volunteer will participate in a short training and icebreaker with a Girls Inc. facilitator, so they feel prepared and comfortable before working with girls. As COVID-19 continues to limit in-person learning opportunities for our girls, this is a wonderful way volunteers can get involved to support our mission and help girls directly.