COLORADO SPRINGS — Last month we told you about Tutors For Change, an effort by two local college students to provide virtual tutoring sessions for just 99 cents. News5 found out since our story aired, more tutors are now joining the cause as students and families gain access to affordable help to start a new school year.
For many students going back to school is going to look a lot different and will likely take place in a virtual classroom. It's why more than 50 people have now joined Tutors For Change to offer affordable and high-quality tutoring to help students have success in this classroom environment.
"Day one we were Tutors For Change," said 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."
Tutors For Change is a grassroots effort by Arjun Kudinoor and Neal. The two are Discovery Canyon Campus grads. Their idea appears to be catching on.
Now officially recognized as a nonprofit organization in the State of Colorado, Tutors For Change has more than 50 people involved. That includes volunteer tutors and students who are connecting through 99 cent online tutoring sessions.
"We know this has hit a lot of families hard and so we wanted to offer tutoring to all families," said Kudinoor.
Kalia Hunter a Palmer High School grad, saw the News5 story last month and immediately got involved as a volunteer tutor.
"I just saw it and I thought it was a great program. I just thought it was a great concept and I wanted to help in any way that I could," said Hunter.
Studying Sociology and African American studies at Dartmouth, she hopes to one day become a lawyer. Hunter says reaching kids who wouldn't normally be able to afford the extra help makes every session special.
"You're closing that gap, so there is not as much of a disparity. So, students that can't shell out $50 an hour for private tutoring will still have the same access and still have the same opportunities as students who can," said Hunter. "Especially with COVID-19 and students being sent home in March, the learning was really difficult to transition in. So there really are gaps. So being able to close those gaps for basically free, I think is a great opportunity."
Kerrie Weitzel's teens are a couple of the students who really needed help when it came to the new-look approach of virtual schooling.
"It is hard to do school online, kind of independent even though you have a teacher's support," said Weitzel. "It's hard to access. They have 130 and sometimes more students. They have to answer all their emails and all their questions. I can say that my experience with online learning has been that my kids don't really ask questions. They are really trying to tread water and maybe drown a little."
She also saw News5's story and got her teenagers connected with Tutors For Change. This year she's preparing to homeschool her kids.
As students start a school year unlike any other, Weitzel says parents can bolster their confidence knowing there are affordable tutors ready to help.
"Both of my kids have regained some enthusiasm for math. My son especially had been very frustrated. He was very impressed with his tutor," said Weitzel.
There are still opportunities to get involved with Tutors For Change as a student, or volunteer tutor.
Visit the Tutors For Change website to find out how to get involved: https://www.tutorsforchange.org/
Check out News5's previous story on Tutors For Change:
Local students offering tutoring sessions for 99 cents