With some students taking virtual classes due to the coronavirus pandemic, Westfield Library Foundation Executive Director Erin Downey expects the need for tutors will grow.
“We definitely anticipate a greater number since students are not getting as much classroom/1-on-1 time with a teacher due to hybrid or online learning plans,” Downey said.
The Westfield Library Foundation has launched a fundraising campaign for a free tutoring program for students in Westfield and Washington Township. The Westfield Washington Public Library and the Westfield Youth Assistance Program have partnered to provide the program for students in need. The service is designed to reach socioeconomically disadvantaged youth within the community, using the library and its resources. Sessions start Aug. 24.
“The tutoring program is for children in upper elementary grades through middle school,” Downey said. “In order to receive the tutoring, the students have to be referred by the Westfield Youth Assistance Program.”
Downey said a donation of $225 would cover six weeks of tutoring and materials for a student in need. The program, which started in 2019, was suspended when the library and schools closed in mid-March. The library reopened June 15.
“The program had less than 10 tutors this past school year, but the library and Westfield Youth Assistance are looking to expand the program,” Downey said. “The tutors were mostly teachers or former teachers. However, anyone can apply to be a tutor, but experience is preferred, and a background check will be conducted.”
Downey said anyone interested in being a tutor can contact youthassistance.org/westfield or the information desk at the library at 317-896-9391 to start the application process.
“Our work helps support the many worthwhile programs that the library provides for its patrons,” Downey said. “With COVID-19 and the uncertainty of a normal school year, the foundation felt that this was a very important program to help fund, especially with school starting soon. The program also supports the library’s mission of fostering exploration, discovery and growth as well as its vision to serve as the cornerstone of lifelong learning in Westfield and Washington townships.”
Donations can be made at the library or by visiting westfieldlibraryfoundation.dm.networkforgood.com/emails/help-westfield-students-achieve-academic-success.