In response to the changing educational landscape caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, a collaborative of universities, led by St. Norbert College and UW-Oshkosh, implemented online tutoring services to K12 students across the state of Wisconsin and beyond during the spring of 2020. Taking off from this initial program, the UWM Virtual Tutoring Program (VTP) began in earnest during the summer of 2020, and continues on today in hopes that children have access to free, online tutoring with qualified tutors during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
The VTP is coordinated by the UWM Center for Community-Based Learning, Leadership, & Research (CCBLLR) with tutors from a variety of UWM programs including teacher education students, paid America Reads tutors, volunteers, and service learners. There are also other external partners who have join the program to provide support and tutoring. The program seeks to provide academic and social support to elementary and secondary students impacted by distance education, continued professional experience for college students, and an opportunity for the UWM community to support the education of young people. Here is a news story by Spectrum News that aired in the early days of the program, and while dated, it gives a good sense of the experience and impact the program can have on both tutors and tutees.
Tutees will be in one of two programs. The first is a “Reading Buddy” Program for kids in kindergarten through 5th grade. This program will use a structured curriculum and will emphasize literacy and other reading skills. The program was designed by the UWM Children’s Library staff. The second program is individualized tutoring for kindergarten through 12th grade. There are limited spots for individualized tutoring. If your child is in kindergarten through 5th grade and needs reading support, we suggest registering them for the reading buddy program. We will do our best to match all students with tutors.