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New Ways of Tutoring Youths in the Midst of a Pandemic
Written by Shin Woo Sung | Published. 2020.09.22 00:57 | Count : 236

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses and associations were forced to find ways to maintain their services or organizations. I am a volunteer for “Give. Inspire. Volunteer. Educate.” (G.I.V.E.), which is a non-profit organization in California with volunteers aged from junior high to high schoolers. We tutor young children in math, music, English, and many other subjects at the Fullerton Community Center. Before the pandemic, we met the children in person to teach them and lend them any instruments and supplies they needed. However, due to the pandemic, we were unable to meet with the children in person anymore. We had to figure out a way to tutor the kids online.

[G.I.V.E. members. Photo: Woo-Sung Shin]

G.I.V.E. decided that hosting video meetings was the best idea. We planned to divide up the students into small groups and make video calls, and we also planned one-on-one calls with them as well. Based on this plan, we were able to create distance learning curriculums for the students and tutor them. Each subject had its own altered program, which helped us better adapt to the pandemic while also enabling us to continue teaching what we could. 

For music, we decided to lend musical instruments to students that needed them by delivering the instruments ourselves. We selected tutors that lived nearby the students and tasked them with giving the students instruments such as guitars, violins, saxophones, ukuleles, and keyboards.

For math, we created three different sessions: core mathematics, activity mathematics, and competitive mathematics. For each session, we created levels based on the student’s current grade, and made separate educational schedules for each level. In core mathematics, we taught basic math for first graders up to eighth graders, and in activity mathematics, we focused more on fun activities, worksheets, and quizzes. For competitive mathematics, we challenged students with math questions that were more complex.

Regarding coding, we taught JavaScript. Just like our math curriculum, students were divided into levels based on their grades or abilities.

We also have sessions for science experiments, Rubik’s cubes, and English. The science experiments consist of simple experiments that children can follow at home and are not hazardous. We teach students how to solve Rubik’s cubes through video call by mirroring our cameras and providing individual assistance if needed. For English, we read PDF versions of books to children and helped them with comprehension.

[Photo with a G.I.V.E. student. Photo: Woo-Sung Shin]

This was our first time trying distance tutoring. However, we do hope this can help children make better use of the time they now have during the pandemic. By adapting to the circumstances of the pandemic, which once felt like a huge obstacle, we found ways to reach our students with new and engaging studies. These new courses, such as the coding and science courses, can provide the foundation for attaining higher levels of education. In this case, our organization decided to take a step out of its comfort zone and take advantage of remote learning. But there are many ways and many different organizations that can also make use of these times. I believe and hope that our organization will encourage other groups to persevere and show the world what new and creative solutions they can come up during this pandemic.


Shin Woo Sung
10th Grade
Valencia High School

Shin Woo Sung  student_reporter@dherald.com

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