It’s been less than a year since Taya Lee ’22 started the non-profit online tutoring organization, School Helpers
, but in that time, she has already seen it expand across the country, as it now helps students not only on Vancouver Island, but also in provinces as far away as Ontario.
School Helpers offers free online one-on-one tutoring and support for students from Grades 1 to 12, and it also provides educational resources and a drop-in question forum for students.
“We have been expanding our organization across Canada, so we are reaching out to different students in different provinces,” explains Taya. “We have a variety of tutors who are from Ontario and such. My favourite part has been interviewing the different applicants, and getting to know more people and their experiences, goals, visions, and what they want to do to contribute to the organization.”
There has been a large interest from Ontario, and with the return to online schooling throughout the province, an Ontario branch has been formed and a separate coordinator is being trained there now. In British Columbia, they have also seen a large increase and have added an executive team.
“We had a slow start at first because we are on the Island,” said Taya. “I didn’t ever expect to expand past British Columbia, so the fact that we have made so many connections and we have shared this with many people has been amazing and I feel so privileged to be able to help give back.”
Since its inception, they have been collaborating with many refugee and immigration societies in Victoria to offer online tutoring.
“There’s a wide variety of subjects we help with,” Taya continued. “A lot [of students] want English help, so we have a lot of tutors helping with speaking, reading and spelling. We have older students in high school who want help with writing and grammar. We also do a lot of sciences and math; it's been very popular. We also have someone tutoring music theory.”
The organization has had support from GNS students
as well, with many signing up and volunteering to be tutors. One of those students is Angelina Safarik ’22 who has also taken on the role of Director of Communications within the organization.
“I wanted to get more involved with community service and helping kids. I’m interested in helping others,” Angelina said. “I found I enjoyed the experience; I’m interested in talking with people and making sure they have everything they need.”
There are many ways to become involved with School Helpers, including becoming a tutor, helping with social media and more.
“Overall, it’s been great having student involvement and we are always encouraging people to get involved where they can,” said Angelina. “It’s all really flexible so when we put the tutoring jobs out there for them, they choose a student with a grade and subject they are interested in and think they can help so we can meet everyone's needs.”
To find out more about School Helpers
, visit their website where you can register for tutoring, sign up to volunteer and find more resources.