Tallahassee tutors help mitigate impact of COVID-19 on school children, families

Posted at 6:01 PM, Sep 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-14 18:01:39-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — The pandemic changed the way thousands of students across the Big Bend area learn, and one local tutoring service is helping kids and their parents rebound as COVID-19 teaches them a lesson of their own.

When the pandemic transitioned students from school to the screen, families like the Eychaners were significantly impacted by the stress.

Robin Eychaner's 10-year-old daughter, Sophie, attends the School of Arts and Sciences in Tallahassee.

"Schools basically didn't open after spring break," said Robin Eychaner.

When classes resumed online, math and reading were a challenge. That's where the local tutoring service, Engaged Academics, stepped in to help.

"There are some learning gaps that are occurring," said Lance Davis with Engaged Academics.

Davis blames the gaps on the major changes brought on by the pandemic.

"When people call us," Davis said, "the main issue is reading."

However, they didn't get as many calls as they were hoping for over the summer.

Davis says students weren't as challenged academically in the spring because of the focus on just finishing the school year.

"When school did start back, we learned that level of rigor was just not there," said Davis.

Despite this, they moved 99 percent of the tutoring online to keep students challenged and learning throughout the summer, getting kids like Sophie ready to take on a new kind of learning this fall.

"It was fine, honestly," Sophie Eychaner said.

As both tutors and students adapt, they say they're grateful for the help.

"It'd be a mess," said Robin Eychaner. "It is not easy to teach or tutor your own child."

Davis says his tutors are working with the few clients who need in-person instruction use Personal Protective Equipment and follow guidelines to keep everyone healthy.

He also said they're always hiring tutors and are happy to interview any teacher not interested in brick and mortar teaching this year to help supplement their income.

For more information about Engaged Academics, click here.