As children return to school, whether in person or online, families are looking for ways to support their learning amidst the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Through its literacy and numeracy tutoring programs, the Brock Learning Lab (BLL) is offering help to local students in kindergarten to Grade 12 who need extra reading and math support this fall.
Working with a dedicated educator one-on-one has been a significant benefit for BLL clients during the pandemic, said Tiffany Gallagher, Professor of Educational Studies and Director of the Brock Learning Lab.
“During COVID-19, our tutors have found that the clients needed engagement,” she said. “They needed time with an educator to chat and feel a connection.”
The BLL’s one-on-one tutoring programs are tailored to the unique needs of each student using evidence-based strategies and instructional methods to keep students engaged in learning, whether in person or online.
“Children are likely to have gaps in their skills in both literacy and numeracy,” Gallagher said. “Assessment and identification of their strengths and needs will be critical to programming and ensuring that we are addressing learners at their levels.”
Tutors, who run sessions online and in person, are provided with training, resources and support from experts in literacy and numeracy, including Brock faculty and teachers certified in Ontario. Supervisors monitor sessions and help undergraduate tutors with lesson planning and reflections.
Many BLL tutors are students in the Faculty of Education’s Concurrent Teacher Education program and participate as tutors as part of a Reading and Literacy Development course. Other Brock students also volunteer or intern with the BLL to gain teaching experience.
Clients work with their tutors one to two afternoons or evenings a week.
In-person sessions will be offered at the Brock University Research and Innovation Centre. The BLL team has worked closely with Brock’s Health, Safety and Wellness staff to ensure proper safety measures are in place for in-person tutoring, including distancing, barriers, personal protective equipment, sanitization and contact tracing protocols.
“We anticipate some apprehension about returning to tutoring in close proximity,” Gallagher said. “We will continue to offer online tutoring as an option for those families and tutors who require accommodations.”
Online sessions will take place on Microsoft Teams. Technology support is also available during online tutoring sessions.
The Fall 2021 tutoring programs will run from Monday, Oct. 4 to Thursday, Dec. 9, excluding Brock’s Fall Reading Week from Oct. 12 to 15. To learn more about BLL programs, fees and registration details, visit the BLL website.