May 5, 2020

Honors College students create K-12 tutoring program for distance learning

Fueled by a sense of service and urgency during this period of shelter-in-place, Leah Warren and Sara Elhasan wanted to help younger students from falling behind in school. 

The Wayne State University Irvin D. Reid Honors College undergraduates saw an opportunity to use some of their newfound available time to serve K-12 students who now find themselves schooling at home. Warren and Elhasan wondered if fellow classmates felt the same and floated the idea on social media. Almost immediately, they heard back from more than 60 who wanted to volunteer.

Irvin D. Reid Honors College undergraduates Leah Warren (pictured) and Sara Elhasan created online forms for both college students who want to tutor and parents who want to schedule tutoring for their child.

“It’s hard enough to have to start working at home, let alone make sure your child doesn’t fall behind in their classes,” said Warren, who is also a Wayne Med-Direct scholar. “Now that K-12 is suspended throughout the rest of the school year and everything is online, it is imperative that we help.” 

Elhasan, who is a 2020 graduate of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, created online forms for both college students who want to tutor and parents who want to schedule tutoring for their child. 

“I feel really lucky to be able to help others in need during such unprecedented times,” said Elhasan, who was in the ReBUILDetroit Scholars program as an undergraduate student. “Access to and cost of tutoring can often be a barrier to students from low socioeconomic families, so organizing this initiative has been very rewarding, and I’m excited to get feedback from parents to see how we can improve it moving forward.” 

Sara Elhasan, who was in the ReBUILDetroit Scholars program as an undergraduate student, knows that access to and cost of tutoring can often be a barrier to students from low socioeconomic families.

Parents can request tutoring in many subjects, including reading, writing, math, science, social studies/history, and foreign language. Sessions can be scheduled for up to one hour once or twice per week via FaceTime, Skype or Zoom. Tutors will work with materials and assignments provided to students by their teachers.

Undergraduate students who are interested in tutoring can find a sign-up form here. Parents who would like a tutor to help their child can request one here. Questions about the program can be directed to Elhasan at elhasans2016@gmail.com.

“The creation of this program exemplifies the creative spirit and altruistic values of our Honors students,” said Honors College Dean John Corvino. “Their leadership in finding a positive way to serve others during a time of crisis makes us all proud.”