CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The school year is beginning with virtual learning for many school districts and it's creating concern that there could be learning gaps among students.
Families and community advocates are seeking tutoring services for children during the coronavirus pandemic.
Leaders with a local tutoring service, Club Z! In-Home Tutoring of Charleston, says they are seeing the greatest interest among K-5 students because parents are uncertain what virtual learning is going to look like for their kids.
They service Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester counties.
The co-owner of Club Z! based in Mount Pleasant, Young Do, says their branch is new to the area although the business has been around for 25 years.
"We started earlier this year, really wanting to reach out to the community and providing the help they need especially in times like this," Do said.
Do says they have educational consultants that help students set goals and that tutoring is customized for each child. All tutors are certified teachers or degreed professionals.
"We really focus on developing personal relationships and being able to motivate students instead of just getting better results on the report card," Do said. "There are a lot of things that we consider, our tutors are very well experienced and they love helping our students. My job is to really help them succeed with providing resources they need."
Club Z! is partnering with a nonprofit in Summerville that supports foster children and foster families in the area called Closet of Hope.
Community Outreach Manager for Closet of Hope and foster parent Alyssa Blitch says they want foster children to have resources.
"We're looking to expand that as part of our services because in foster care and just a lot of these situations children fall behind from an educational standpoint," Blitch said. "We want to help to continue to mend that gap while they're in care, and they're going through all these other challenging times that we can help education be on the forefront of their mind."
Closet of Hope began operating at the beginning of this year and has assisted 600 families with resources over the past four months. They also assist kinship, adoptive and guardianship families by providing them things they need on a day-to-day basis including clothes.
The nonprofit and Club Z! are currently coordinating tutoring efforts.
“With everything that’s going on with the pandemic, this is the perfect time to launch an operation like that,” Blitch said.
Club Z! says they have strict health and safety guidelines in place for all in-home sessions. They are also offering tutoring virtually and are seeking new tutors to join their team.
They say there has also been a growing interest of parents who are getting a small group of children to learn together with a tutor.
If you’d like to learn more about Closet of Hope in Summerville you can visit their Facebook page and message them if you’d like to donate or need assistance.
Closet of Hope accepts donations that include clothing, children and baby supplies like strollers and toys, back-to school supplies and more. They also accept monetary donations to help support foster families in the area.