Grade 10 student Taya Lee of Glenlyon Norfolk School has created a new non-profit online initiative to match student volunteer tutors with students from Grade 4 to 9 in Victoria and on Vancouver Island. The goal is to support students who are struggling to learn online. (Emily Pai Photo)

Grade 10 student Taya Lee of Glenlyon Norfolk School has created a new non-profit online initiative to match student volunteer tutors with students from Grade 4 to 9 in Victoria and on Vancouver Island. The goal is to support students who are struggling to learn online. (Emily Pai Photo)

Saanich teen launches free online tutoring website

School Helpers matches volunteer tutors with students

Cadboro Bay resident Taya Lee was part of the first wave of students in B.C. to experience the shift from in-school to online learning when COVID-19 pandemic reached B.C. in March.

Lee is in Grade 10 at Glenlyon Norfolk School – the first school on Vancouver Island to shut its doors March 10 in the face of what was then a fast emerging COVID-19 pandemic. The precautionary measure was to avoid spreading a potential case that eventually tested negative.

Lee found the shift to online classes a difficult transition, even with a set of teachers she credits as highly supportive.

So Lee created a new website that connects students between Grade 4 and Grade 9 with a volunteer student tutor.

“I felt it thrust into more of an independent learning experience, and it was harder to learn without the teachers,” Lee said.

“Talking to other students at other schools, I heard how difficult it was, even though I’ve been able to have all my classes online every day, scheduled just as they were before.”

READ ALSO: Glenlyon Norfolk School closes campuses in Victoria, Oak Bay due to potential COVID-19 case

The website is called School Helpers Victoria (schoolhelpersvictoria.com) and while the early users are mostly local it’s open to all students on Vancouver Island, and Lee is hoping to share the word.

It launched on March 31 and also features educational resources and a drop-in question forum.

“Not everyone is going back to school now and are still studying online,” Lee said. “And when students go back next year, there will be a transition and I know some students are getting behind in their curriculum so it might be harder next year.”

Volunteers and students in need of assistance are all invited. The goal is to assist students in reading, writing, math, science and more. It’s free service and does not require a long-term commitment.

READ ALSO: Greater Victoria schools to reopen with one-way hallways, rotating class schedules

“Students can sign up for one or more tutoring sessions, or use the drop-in sessions,” Lee said. “We have GNS students helping students but there are also some public school students tutoring. We match helpers with students based on the subject and grades they’re in.”

Ideally, Lee wants to make the non-profit online tutoring website accessible full time to families of students on Vancouver Island.

“Everyone has been pretty supportive about this idea and a lot of people are willing to contribute their hours of support,” Lee said. “They can also relate to the struggle of online learning.”

reporter@oakbaynews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Current unmarked residential streets are 50 km/h, but Greater Vancouver municipalities might consider dropping that to 30 km/h. (Black Press Media file photo)
Oak Bay, Esquimalt and Sidney join Saanich in application to reduce residential road speeds to 30 km/h

Victoria also taking part in pilot to change default speed to 30 km/h from 50 km/h

Demonstrators at the legislature on April 14 called on the province to decriminalize drug possession and provide widespread access to regulated safe supply across B.C. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
Rally calls for decriminalization, safe supply as overdose emergency turns 5

From 2016 to the end of February, 7,072 British Columbians died due to overdose

A few dozen students and parents gathered outside Lansdowne Middle School April 14 to protest proposed budget cuts to SD61 music programs. From left to right: Lyra Gaudin, Cleo Bateman, Abby Farish, Brigitte Peters, Enid Gaudin, Des Farish. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
SD61’s proposed $7 million cuts threaten equity and inclusion, say parents, teachers

Music classes, inclusion services, reading programs on the line

The Latoria South section of the Royal Bay development in Colwood could include a new long-term care facility. (Black Press Media file photo)
Colwood’s Royal Bay could be home to new long-term care facilities

Capital Regional Hospital District board approves $8M land purchase for purpose

(Black Press Media file photo)
Youth gets combative with police at Victoria hospital

VicPD officer injured, youth kept in care under Mental Health Act

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Do you have a plan in place in the event of a tsunami?

Tsunamis have claimed the lives of more than 250,000 people between 1998… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of April 13

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Government of Canada)
Liberal MP caught stark naked during House of Commons video conference

William Amos, in Quebec, appeared on the screens of his fellow members of Parliament completely naked

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Feb. 1, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps to 1,168 Wednesday, nearly 400 in hospital

Now 120 coronavirus patients in intensive care, six more deaths

Moss covered branches are seen in the Avatar Old Growth Forest near Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island, B.C. Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. blockades aimed at protecting old-growth forests reveal First Nation split

Two Pacheedaht chiefs say they’re ‘concerned about the increasing polarization over forestry activities’ in the territory

One of the grand prizes for this year's Hometown Heroes Lottery includes a seaside home at SookePoint, $1.5 million, and an Audi Quattro. (Photo courtesy of Hometown Heroes)
Hometown Heroes Lottery features seaside home in Sooke

A stunning seaside home in Sooke could be yours for the price… Continue reading

City workers from Duncan were busy recently putting up street signs in both Hul’q’umi’num’ and English. (Submitted photo)
Hul’q’umi’num street signs installed in downtown Duncan

Partnership with Cowichan Tribes sees English street names twinned with Indigenous language

Homicide investigators who asked not to be identified put up signs Wednesday, April 14, along the Nanaimo Parkway in the area where a body was found March 31. RCMP are asking for witnesses or dash cam footage as the suspicious death has now been ruled a homicide. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Suspicious death along the highway in Nanaimo now being investigated as a homicide

RCMP identify victim as Randell Charles Thomas, repeat call for any information related to the case

Most Read