New York City public schools’ switch to remote learning at the start of the pandemic had a major impact on working class families, who had to make big adjustments within just a few days. While switching up their everyday routines and juggling their jobs, they also had to maintain childcare and their children’s schooling. Meanwhile, remote learning has removed the one-on-one time that children would receive in a physical classroom with their teachers. To help with these challenges, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s team created a mutual aid project for families in her district through their Homework Helpers program, with a goal to serve 1,000 students this school year.
AOC’s Homework Helpers program has already managed to attract over 13,000 volunteers who have signed up as tutors. Inspired by, and working in collaboration with that project, Sivana has opened up its online learning platform for volunteers to connect with students in New York City and across the world.
Sivana’s Homework Helpers program is actively looking for instructors who can help motivate kids and assist them with work that is generally focused on subjects taught in middle and elementary schools.
The model is based on working with individual schools (currently including PS85 and others in Queens) and with tutors located anywhere with a robust internet connection. The program allows schools and non-profit organizations to create a custom partner page where they control the branding and messaging and manually approve volunteers to work with their community.
Sivana has already begun working with schools in Astoria, Queens to find parents, siblings or relatives ready to volunteer their time to tutor kids in their community.
- We are seeking new volunteers to commit an hour per week to tutor students. You can read more and sign up directly here – https://www.sivana.live/p/homework-helpers (Students looking to work with tutors can also sign up on this page.)
- We are looking for new schools and PTAs interested in connecting their community to this program. You can choose to work exclusively with tutors from within your own school community, or with tutors from our larger pool of volunteers. See this page for details – https://www.sivana.live/lp/homework-help-and-fundraising-program
At the same time, we are seeking to collaborate with other programs that share similar goals. Let us know how we can help!
Tutors only need an understanding of elementary and middle school level studies such as reading, writing, math, and history, while music, art, science and life skills like cooking are also needed. Tutoring sessions can last as little as 30 minutes and will be based off of the current needs of the student.
Interested parents, please visit Sivana’s Homework Helpers partner page to find tutors who are available to work with your child now.
See our thread on Reddit for more of the community response to our program so far.