May 18, 2020

Navigating School Success During COVID-19 School Closures

When learning from home, consistency is more important than ever.

Before schools closed, Nora* had discovered a love of fractions and newfound confidence in her academic abilities. Over the past two years, she has thrived in weekly tutoring sessions and has consistently completed homework packets with her professional mentor, Tasha. Nora struggles with an unidentified learning disorder that requires significant repetition to learn new concepts.

Nora doesn’t currently have access to online learning. She is waiting to receive a computer from her school. Working on homework packets with her mentor over the phone has become Nora’s main source of academic engagement. At first, “She was getting a lot of it wrong, mostly due to the lack of repetition from not having school… she [was] forgetting everything she worked so hard to learn,” said Tasha. Knowing that consistency is crucial to Nora’s academic success, “We switched our meetings from once a week to 20 to 45 minutes a day and [now we] tackle one to two pages each day.”

Fun Friday activities are Nora’s reward for her efforts throughout the week. She and Tasha do origami, paint or just hang out. Nora’s little sister wanted to join in too, so “she is also getting a packet from me each week and is earning her own little prizes,” said Tasha. “Both girls are trying their best, and I’m very, very proud of them.” Right now, having a professional mentor’s support is essential for Nora, and over 200 more youth enrolled in Friends of the Children–Seattle to continue to set and reach their academic goals, especially when we are all at home.

*Youth's name changed to protect their identity