Covid-19 has not stopped our efforts. While we are no longer tutoring from our space at 20 Rensselaer Street, we are tutoring. In fact, we are tutoring more students now than before the pandemic began. We are just not doing it in person.
Thanks to a grant from the City of Albany, we purchased over 20 iPads, and, after training our tutors, we gave the iPads to our students. Now, our tutors work from home usually on laptops, and contact their students over the internet using the Zoom app. At first, some tutors were fearful of the new technology, but they have quickly grown to love it and so do their students.
How does this work? Good question. Our program director, several tutors, and a few volunteers have electronically scanned about 350 books of various levels and put them on thumb-drives. Individual books are then emailed in answer to requests from tutors. The books are then shared between students and tutors by the “shared page” function of the Zoom program. Both can see the same page and generally they take turns reading.
Our logo asserts, “Reading is Magic.” Tutoring over the internet is a daily celebration of that, as well as being magical in its own right.