Former TN Governor creates new tutoring program to help students during COVID-19 pandemic

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A new statewide tutoring program in Tennessee is helping students avoid the summer slide, which could be a big problem thanks to the coronavirus.

It’s designed to help thousands of students and for some it's free!

Every year, students experience some learning loss known as “the summer slide” but now there’s concern this slide may become a “COVID-19 avalanche” because of school closures.

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Research from the Collaborative for Student Growth shows the pandemic could cause students to go back to school this fall retaining only 70 percent of learning gains in reading and less than 50 percent of learning gains in math.

That’s why former Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and his wife created the Tennessee Tutoring Corps.

In a statement to FOX13, former Governor Haslam said, “We know that younger students and low-income students are especially vulnerable to summer learning loss, and we want to help address the problem.”

It’s a partnership with the Boys and Girls Clubs Of Tennessee and other community groups to hire 1000 college students to become tutors and work with students in kindergarten to six grade for eight weeks.

Ryan Hughes is the Executive Director of the Boys And Girls Club In Tennessee.

He told FOX13, “Those tutors are going to be working in groups of five students or fewer, so you know what this summer looks like is a little bit different than what it looks like in the past as it related to staff-child ratios and spacing out at facilities.”

Hughes said they’ll also use a computer-based program to help them assess a kid’s reading and math skills right away.

“We can really assess them on the front end and make sure our staff locally at the Boys And Girls Club of Greater Memphis as well as the tutor who are really going to be hands-on, know where that child, know where the young person is so we can get them the help they need,” he said.

As for the money aspect, for some, tuition will be free. Others who can afford to should expect to pay some sort of tuition.

On the other side, college students selected for the program will be paid a $1000 stipend.

For more information on how students or potential tutors can apply for the eight-week program CLICK HERE.

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