A Wheeler High School student started a free tutoring service for K-12 students that anyone, anywhere can use. And that means just about everywhere, since the service has even reached some international students.
Ishaan Chaubey, 17, a senior at Wheeler, saw a need last spring for kids who needed extra help with classes to get tutoring because of the pandemic. He had tutored his classmates in an afterschool program called Learning Links, and he didn’t want them to get behind when they couldn’t show up to school — or afterschool — anymore.
“I thought of those kids who used to always come for tutoring and that club, and I was just thinking, ‘how can I help them?’ Because I know with this new virtual setting, they would be completely isolated from those opportunities to further improve their understanding,” he said.
Chaubey got together with some friends, who decided that tutoring could help their fellow students and create volunteer opportunities for students that wouldn’t otherwise have them. They started Virtual Outreach Tutoring for elementary, middle and high school students, which has now served over 150 students across the United States.
VOT’s tutoring is done through one-on-one sessions via Zoom. There is also an option for teachers or school administrators to supervise the sessions.
The leadership team consists of Chaubey; Wheeler senior Jahnvi Bhagat, who oversees tutors at that high school; Campbell High School senior Rohan Mathur, lead administrator for Campbell tutors; Lassiter High School senior Yasmin Sharifian, who oversees tutors from Lassiter and the rest of the United States; and Wheeler senior Jack Turbish, lead creative designer. All of them also tutor students, and, in all, VOT has 120 tutors.
The Cobb-based organization has extended its reach across oceans, with some students from Germany and India, Chaubey said.
“The vision for VOT is to continue helping as many students (as possible), not just in the U.S. but also globally,” he said.
Deloris Timmons, who signed her grandson up with a math tutor, said her grandson’s tutor was very patient and knowledgeable. Timmons is a Cobb County School District substitute teacher, and found out about the service from the school district.
“They were very professional. If we needed to meet through Zoom, she was right there. They had PowerPoints, she was able to switch the screen to go pull up examples. They had the board so you could write and make problems,” she said. “She was able to help him understand a whole lot better.”
After Chaubey graduates in May, he plans to expand VOT to serve college students and appoint a new group of high schoolers to take over the K-12 level, he said.
To sign up for virtual tutoring for elementary, middle and high school, or for more information, visit www.virtualoutreachtutoring.org.