Grade 10 student Taya Lee of Glenlyon Norfolk School has created a new non-profit online initiative to match student volunteer tutors with students from Grade 4 to 9 in Victoria and on Vancouver Island. The goal is to support students who are struggling to learn online. (Emily Pai Photo)

Grade 10 student Taya Lee of Glenlyon Norfolk School has created a new non-profit online initiative to match student volunteer tutors with students from Grade 4 to 9 in Victoria and on Vancouver Island. The goal is to support students who are struggling to learn online. (Emily Pai Photo)

Saanich teen launches free online tutoring website

School Helpers matches volunteer tutors with students

Cadboro Bay resident Taya Lee was part of the first wave of students in B.C. to experience the shift from in-school to online learning when COVID-19 pandemic reached B.C. in March.

Lee is in Grade 10 at Glenlyon Norfolk School – the first school on Vancouver Island to shut its doors March 10 in the face of what was then a fast emerging COVID-19 pandemic. The precautionary measure was to avoid spreading a potential case that eventually tested negative.

Lee found the shift to online classes a difficult transition, even with a set of teachers she credits as highly supportive.

So Lee created a new website that connects students between Grade 4 and Grade 9 with a volunteer student tutor.

“I felt it thrust into more of an independent learning experience, and it was harder to learn without the teachers,” Lee said.

“Talking to other students at other schools, I heard how difficult it was, even though I’ve been able to have all my classes online every day, scheduled just as they were before.”

READ ALSO: Glenlyon Norfolk School closes campuses in Victoria, Oak Bay due to potential COVID-19 case

The website is called School Helpers Victoria (schoolhelpersvictoria.com) and while the early users are mostly local it’s open to all students on Vancouver Island, and Lee is hoping to share the word.

It launched on March 31 and also features educational resources and a drop-in question forum.

“Not everyone is going back to school now and are still studying online,” Lee said. “And when students go back next year, there will be a transition and I know some students are getting behind in their curriculum so it might be harder next year.”

Volunteers and students in need of assistance are all invited. The goal is to assist students in reading, writing, math, science and more. It’s free service and does not require a long-term commitment.

READ ALSO: Greater Victoria schools to reopen with one-way hallways, rotating class schedules

“Students can sign up for one or more tutoring sessions, or use the drop-in sessions,” Lee said. “We have GNS students helping students but there are also some public school students tutoring. We match helpers with students based on the subject and grades they’re in.”

Ideally, Lee wants to make the non-profit online tutoring website accessible full time to families of students on Vancouver Island.

“Everyone has been pretty supportive about this idea and a lot of people are willing to contribute their hours of support,” Lee said. “They can also relate to the struggle of online learning.”

reporter@oakbaynews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A peacock struts by a pair of lamb siblings at the Beacon Hill Children’s Farm, which remains closed to the public. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
VIDEO: Victoria petting zoo optimistic about future after 13 months closed

Public helps non-profit Beacon Hill Children’s Farm with nearly $100,000 influx

Island Health declared a COVID-19 outbreak in two houses at the Mount St. Mary long-term care home on Wednesday. (Photo courtesy of Google Earth)
Island Health declares outbreak at Victoria long-term care home

Resident, staff member test positive for COVID-19 at Mount St. Mary facility

Vancouver Island Connector and Tofino Bus is putting a 41-passenger electric bus through its paces in a three-month trial run between Nanaimo and Victoria. (Photo submitted)
Electric bus on trial run serving Victoria-to-Nanaimo route

Vancouver Island Connector and Tofino Bus trying out 41-seat electric coach for three months

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is helping Saanich police locate a suspect who allegedly stole an iPhone from a building in the 3100-block of Foul Bay Road on April 7. (Image via the Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers)
Saanich police seek suspect in cell phone theft

White iPhone XR reported stolen from building on Foul Bay Road April 7

Victoria police are looking for a 38-year-old man after he allegedly assaulted and choked a missing 15-year-old victim in Beacon Hill Park Tuesday night. (Black Press Media file photo)
15-year-old choked in Beacon Hill tent, Victoria police assaulted while intervening

Police searching for 38-year-old suspect, two officers injured in altercation with park residents

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Have rising prices caused you to give up hope of buying a home?

Do you have a spare 50 grand or so kicking around (have… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of April 20

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Aria Pendak Jefferson cuddles ChiChi, the family cat that ran away two years ago in Ucluelet. The feline was missing until Courtney Johnson and Barry Edge discovered her in the parking lot of the Canadian Princess earlier this month. Aria and her parents were reunited with ChiChi in a parking lot in Port Alberni. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
An Island girl’s wish is answered as her cat came back

Courtenay family reunited with cat that went missing in Ucluelet in 2019

FILE – The Instagram app is shown on an iPhone in Toronto on Monday, March 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Judge acquits B.C. teen boy ‘set up’ on sex assault charge based on Instagram messages

The girl and her friends did not have ‘good intentions’ towards the accused, judge says

Kai Palkeinen recently helped a car stuck on the riverbed near the Big Eddy Bridge. While the car could not be saved, some of the driver’s belongings were. It’s common for vehicles to get stuck in the area due to significantly changing river levels from Revelstoke Dam. (Photo by Kai Palkeinen)
“I just sank a car’: Revelstoke resident tries to save vehicle from the Columbia River

Although it’s not permitted, the riverbed near the city is popular for off roading

Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, walks down the street with an acquaintance after leaving B.C. Supreme Court during a lunch break at her extradition hearing, in Vancouver, B.C., Thursday, April 1, 2021. A judge is scheduled to release her decision today on a request to delay the final leg of hearings in Meng Wanzhou’s extradition case. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rich Lam
B.C. judge grants Meng Wanzhou’s request to delay extradition hearings

Lawyers for Canada’s attorney general had argued there is no justification to delay proceedings in the case

B.C. Premier John Horgan announces travel restrictions between the province’s regional health authorities at the legislature, April 19, 2021. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sees 862 more COVID-19 cases Wednesday, seven deaths

Recreational travel restrictions set to begin Friday

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson is photographed following her budget speech in the legislative assembly at the provincial legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. budget lacks innovative drive, vision during uncertain times, say experts

Finance Minister Selina Robinson’s budget sets out to spend $8.7 billion over three years on infrastructure

Most Read