By Bobby Bordelon
With a reduced amount of in-person class time for Greenbrier County students, some might find themselves needing more help with understanding the content of their lessons. A free tutoring service with virtual lessons has been in the works to combat this, hoping to get started on Monday, October 5.
The tutoring is made possible through the efforts of Jennifer Mason, a lawyer for firm Dinsmore & Shohl, and organizations across the county, including the Greenbrier County Board of Education, the Bimbo Coles Company Project, High Rocks Education, the MARVEL Center, B3 Security and Communities in Schools.
“We will essentially be providing virtual tutoring and they will also have access to the Wifi in those locations,” said Mason. “… The attorneys in my office are going to donate time to do the tutoring. The students will call in and say we need tutoring for, let’s say math. We will put one of our young associates who knows how to do the new math, we’ll get that person to help tutor them. … Each of the volunteer attorneys will say what they’re good at, what are the things they could tutor somebody in, and we will match up the students with the people that can really help them.”
The free virtual tutoring will be available in three physical locations – High Rocks, Bimbo Coles Company Project, and the MARVEL Center. Masks and social distancing will be required.
“At those three locations, students will show up. They will be socially distanced, they have to wear masks,” Mason explained. “… We will be able to handle up to 36 students per hour in the different facilities and still keep them socially distanced,” Mason explained. “We will not have more than one student on each session. The reason for that, of course, is social distancing. We need to keep people safe, so we need to make sure that each tutoring session is an individualized session.
Participating students will then receive individualized instruction and a place to utilize the internet.
“They will sign onto their Chromebooks with the Wifi and they will do the tutoring, and once they do the tutoring they will have an additional 30 minutes to do additional homework,” Mason said. “If they need to sign up for more than one slot, say they need help in math and social studies, they will be able to sign up for more than one slot.”
The tutors will also reach out to the students’ teachers.
“As soon as we tutor somebody, the tutor will email this child’s teacher and say ‘they came in to talk to us about this, they are having difficulty with x, y, and z’ because we want to make sure the teachers are aware of what the issues are because they’re the ones at the end of the day that are really going to give them additional help.”
Health precautions will also be observed, with the facilities cleaned “before and after they arrive to make sure the area that they’re in is sanitized.”
Between Mason, Jason Long, and Tom White at the Dinsmore and Shohl Lewisburg office serving as at least three tutors, and potentially hundreds from other firms, the focus is on Greenbrier County students that need a hand.
“My law firm wanted to do something to help the students,” Mason said. “They asked us to set up programs in different communities. What I did, as part of that, was I knew that there were a lot of people who were saying their kids needed tutors to help them with subjects that the parents couldn’t assist with. … We’re gonna have people from across the country – different people have different strengths. We’ve got 700 attorneys in our firm and any of them can sign up to participate.”
To sign up for tutoring, email Jennifer.email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.