Like every other college student in this country, by mid-March Louisa Rose found herself quarantining at her home in Greenville, Delaware while doing her coursework online.
But unlike other college students, Rose has found a way to utilize the talents of these thousands of marooned college students. She noted that her college, Lafayette (’23), has more than 2500 students with time on their hands.
Likewise, at the same time, there are even greater numbers of lower and middle school students suddenly faced with homeschooling, online classes and social isolation. Add to that the large numbers of parents who suddenly must add ‘teacher’ to their growing load of quarantine duties.
Rose, a freshman engineering major with a minor in data science had a eureka moment: Why not connect these groups through a virtual online platform?
A quick search revealed that there is no free tutoring site for elementary and middle school students. The pandemic has intensified the need. Instead of sitting around watching Netflix, college students with time on their hands could donate their time and talents for community service.
The result of Louisa Rose’s inspiration is http://www.gocovidconnect.com. Here college students can sign up and be matched with a student needing help. Once a student and tutor are matched via the website, continuing arrangements as to scheduling are mutually agreed upon by the parents, child and tutor.
Rose, who graduated from the Brooks School in North Andover, MA, points out that even more than just traditional academic tutoring, many young students need mentoring to help them adjust to online learning. With their parents busy trying to work from home or doing other tasks, some of these kids just need someone to inspire them with their schoolwork.
As an example, Rose mentions one of her students, a kindergartner whose working mother simply wants someone to read via Zoom with her child. “Younger students can find not only a tutor but hopefully someone to look up to and be an inspiration.”
At this time, Rose is asking for college students to tap into their networks and encourage their friends, teammates and peers to sign up as tutors.
Parents can not only sign up their children but also are encouraged to spread the word about the free service.
Asked about the future of GoCOVIDConnect, Rose hopes that what has started as a website to fulfill an immediate and necessary need can continue on, even when classes return to normal. She hopes that people will always be able to find one hour to give back and to share their knowledge with others.