COLORADO SPRINGS — Separated from their classrooms and teachers because of coronavirus, students had a difficult ending to last school year. Many parents fear their student may have even fallen behind.
Two college students who recently graduated from the Discovery Canyon Campus are now back home and want to help those students rebound by offering tutoring sessions for 99 cents.
"Day one, we were tutors for change," said Tutors For Change co-founder Kaleb Neal. "It was 99 cents an hour and if we're being frank, we don't care about the 99 cents. We will do it for free."
"We know this has hit a lot of families hard and so we wanted to offer tutoring to all families however hard they may have been hit by the pandemic," added Tutors For Change co-founder Arjun Kudinoor.
Tutors for change is a grassroots effort by Kudinoor, a student at Columbia University, and Kaleb Neal who studies at the University of Oklahoma. The two Discovery Canyon Campus grads are building a team of volunteer tutors who are donating their time through 99 cent online tutoring sessions to help students across southern Colorado to overcome the challenges they've faced during coronavirus closures.
"So we're looking to help right now students in middle school high school and undergraduate college," said Kudinoor.
Tutoring students in subjects ranging from math to science to English, the goal is to give families and students access to tutoring sessions who might not have been able to afford it otherwise.
"I want to be a professor when I grow up. I love to teach," said Kudinoor. "So it's really an obligation and duty for me to teach others."
Pranav Bhatia is preparing to enter the seventh grade. He's one of the first students being helped by Tutors For Change.
"I'm getting tutoring in math and writing," Pranav said. "It's about an hour and they teach me the new skills I'm going to be studying in seventh grade."
His parents say the tutoring sessions are making him excited to learn again.
"I see the difference even after just a few sessions he has attended he feels so comfortable he says he has to do his homework. I have to do this, I have to be prepared for my next class. So he's all energetic," said his father Vipul Bhatia.
"Using their energy in a positive direction is what every parent wants and he has given us that platform," said Vani Bhatia, Pranav's mother.
Tutors For Change hopes to add both students and volunteer tutors to help students overcome uncertainty and take back control of their educational journey.
"Right now a lot of people are suffering and if you can alleviate the suffering of another person that is almost in a sense your duty during hard times," said Neal. "So that's what Arjun and I thought of when we established this because we have the knowledge to do this tutoring. We have the knowledge to give back."
If you would like to join this effort to bring affordable tutoring to students across southern Colorado or if you would like to sign your student up for one of these sessions please visit the Tutors For Change website to sign-up: https://www.tutorsforchange.org/
News5 has compiled links to all the school districts in southeastern Colorado so parents can find out district plans amid concerns about COVID-19. We're covering this issue as part of The Rebound Colorado as our communities find safe ways to get life back to normal while keeping everyone's health in mind. For your district's Back to School plan, click here.