Welcome to Willow Way Tutoring & Enrichment
We created Willow Way Tutoring & Enrichment in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on students in traditional schools, who were dealt a really tough challenge when their schools were first shut down completely for several weeks and then their classes were moved online. This pandemic has revealed disparities in our educational system and we worried a lot about the kids in our community who were facing a lot of struggles and frustrations. We knew some kids would need help.
It turns out that there were a lot of kids all over town who needed help, particularly those new to America and the English language. So we focused on supporting refugee and newcomer students in our community and recruited a team of student volunteers selected for academic excellence and experience serving others. We also found translators for the languages of our students that we could not speak ourselves, created a website to provide teleconferencing, security and scheduling, and reached out to local schools and teachers to provide one-on-one or group multi-lingual tutoring support.
So far the response to our efforts has been pretty overwhelming! By the end of 2020, we had grown our team of tutors and translators to over thirty workers. Together, we speak over 11 languages and have provided over 2500 hours of multi-lingual tutoring to refugee/newcomer students from 16 schools in our community. We are continuing to grow to accommodate the surge of students requesting multilingual tutoring —any help is greatly appreciated!
While we are all so grateful that the pandemic has now receeded, the educational inequity it revealed and the learning loss that occurred are still very real, and our commitment to refugee & newcomer students is stronger than ever. As such, we are actually growing and expanding our free online multilingual tutoring and are adding in-person enrichment activities. For instance, we now serve a population selected from over six thousand students in subjects ranging from English, Math, and Science to Health, PE, and Economics as well as provide in-person park days and other enrichment activities.
We are a student founded, student managed, and student run club composed of some pretty cool members (if we do say so ourselves). Within our troops we have collectively helped children in the U.S., Mexico, Guatemala, and Africa. We hold an average GPA well over 4.0 and have members who are Rotary Scholars, Eagle Scouts, Davidson Young Scholars, and members of the Johns Hopkins SET program. Therefore, teachers and parents can count on us to be able to be a tutor, a role model, or an encouraging study buddy for their students.
Although our focus is to serve refugee and newcomer students, we are happy to work with any student who could benefit from our multilingual tutoring or enrichment activities. Our goal is for all kids, regardless of background or situation, to have the resources and support to educationally succeed.
Why the name 'Willow Way'?
This pandemic showed us how important it is to be flexible and adaptable in our responses to the challenges of life. Like the willow tree, we find it best to adjust to the challenges presented rather than to resist them. Through this, we show strength in our flexibility and can thrive in the most challenging of situations. This is the willow way and it captures the spirit of our tutors as well as the students we serve.