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Tutoring opportunity benefits older, younger students alike

Tutoring opportunity benefits older, younger students alike
Tutoring opportunity benefits older, younger students alike
State Rep. Steve Davisson

Bells are ringing, and hallways are filling with students, teachers, backpacks and books. Indiana schools are back in session, albeit with some starting remotely.

For our juniors and seniors, there is a new opportunity to meet a Graduation Pathways requirement. Through the Indiana Tutoring Fellowship, students nearing graduation can tutor younger students to fulfill service-based learning requirements and earn credits toward high school graduation.

Each year, many students return to school with some level of summer slide, where they experience learning loss. It is similar to adults returning to work from a vacation. We forget some things and need to catch up from our time away. Typically, students regain the lost lessons within the first weeks of returning to the classroom.

This year, experts expect the issue to be worse due to the extended time children stayed home and learned remotely or virtually due to COVID-19. One study by a group of academic assessors estimates some students are returning with only 70% of the reading skills they normally have and 50% of their knowledge in math. This could create a learning gap that may last several years and be challenging to overcome.

This new tutoring program comes at a vital time.

Tutors can provide extra guidance, assist with assignments and problems and mentor younger students. Those approved to tutor must show they take their education seriously, with at least a 3.0 grade-point average and a record of good behavior in the classroom.

Juniors and seniors involved demonstrate employable skills to help complete part of Indiana’s Graduation Pathways requirements, which is an opportunity for Hoosiers to individualize their graduation requirements to align to their post-secondary goals. They can choose the options best meeting their post-secondary needs and aspirations, create pathways serving their educational interests and prepare for post-secondary educational and career opportunities.

By tutoring, those who may want to teach or work with children get an early start building important skills as they enrich the educational experience for younger generations, help others succeed and take on additional responsibilities.

Students benefit with more individualized attention, and, when they see results in a challenging subject, they gain confidence. The tutor can also be a good role model for younger children to look up to in our schools.

If schools implement the program, students and tutors are encouraged to meet virtually or follow social distancing guidelines when meeting in person.

Juniors and seniors in our community should consider this opportunity to help others, learn new skills and meet graduation requirements.

For more information, interested students and parents can visit doe.in.gov/graduation-pathways.

Editor’s note: State Rep. Steve Davisson, R-Salem, represents House District 73, which includes Washington County and portions of Harrison, Clark, Jackson, Lawrence and Orange counties.

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