By Arielle Hughes
After years of online school and zoom classes, a group of Nepean High School students is supporting younger learners who are having a hard time adjusting to in-person lessons.
Andrew Mery and Michael Plamondon recently started a free tutoring service called the Youth Tutoring Project. It’s open to students from grades one to eight and helps with homework, foundational skills, test preparation, or general support and guidance to get them back on track with their classes.
Mery and Plamondon have grown their team to 10 staff tutoring seven hours a week, with almost 30 additional students trying to book into new lessons with their tutors. The pair said the need for a free tutoring service like this was evident, and the growth is proving to be quick and demanding.
“In our tutoring, we focus on tailoring to our students’ interests,” said Planondon. “We like to have conversations with our kids, find out what they like. Focusing on what the kids are interested in so we get the best results.”
While the program has only been running for a little over a month, response has been positive. Parents who left reviews commented on how professional and flexible the experience was and recommended the program to others who may be considering it.
“It’s a really rewarding experience for a lot of kids who are trying to improve their social skills and work on teaching. For a lot of kids, it’s a good way to learn” said Mery.
The Youth Tutoring Project is looking to grow their reach through an onboard of new tutors and new students signing up for lessons. They aren’t limiting their books to only Ottawa students. Anyone across Canada who wants to be involved or wants to take lessons with them is welcomed with open arms, said Jivan Kaprielian, lead tutor for the project.
“It’s really important that people know it’s really accessible,” said Kaprielian. “We do things online, I know online can be sort of confusing at times, but it works quite well. It won’t ever be a replacement for in-person learning, but it can really be like a supplement that can help those kids get to the point where they want to be.”
To get involved with the Youth Tutoring Project or to sign up for lessons, click here.