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

Just Posted

The District of Saanich has pinpointed funding requests to Oak Bay and Victoria to help offset the purchase price of the Kings Park greenspace and keep the property intact. (Courtesy District of Saanich)
Saanich requests funding help from neighbours to preserve Kings Road green space

District hopes Victoria and Oak Bay will join them in protecting urban green space

Victoria police are looking for Delmer Esau who was last seen in Esquimalt June 1. (Photo courtesy of VicPD)
MISSING: Search continues for man last seen in Esquimalt

Delmer Esau, 35, hasn’t been seen since June 1

Thriving Toots Wilderness School is trying to buy a 98-acre plot of undeveloped land from the Boys and Girls’ Club of Greater Victoria in Metchosin. (Contributed/Thriving Roots)
Hopeful buyers of Boys and Girls’ Club land in Metchosin would keep it wild

Nature-based school, partners trying to secure financing to buy 98-acre property: school director

A temporary urgent and primary care centre will open in Esquimalt this week, offering residents more health care options in their own community. (Black Press Media file)
Esquimalt’s temporary urgent and primary care centre to open Monday

The Esquimalt Health Unit will house the temporary site, permanent location opening in December

VicPd are asking for the public’s help in finding Camper, a lost pit bull who ran away after their owner’s van was reportedly attacked by a man with a hammer on June 12. (Courtesy of VicPD)
Edmonton man reportedly smashes van’s windows with hammer while woman and her dog inside

VicPD are asking for help to find Camper, the woman’s dog who ran away during the Friday incident

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read