Community members are also serving as tutors, in addition to Mary Baldwin students, providing virtual connections during a time when many people must remain relatively isolated.
“Now that we’re approaching the two-month mark, we are beginning to see students who keep returning for tutoring and often end up working with the same tutor,” said Mendonca. “That students find enough value to continue showing up is a testament to the program’s effectiveness, but it’s equally inspiring to see how much the tutors enjoy helping students.”
Tutors are matched with small groups of tutorees based on their knowledge and skill set. During hour-long sessions over video chat, they answer questions, help with homework, suggest activities for extra practice, and provide support and encouragement. Session monitors are also present to assist with technology and logistics.
“We’ve learned that this type of community-university partnership is quite unique among virtual tutoring programs,” said Tynisha Willingham, dean of the College of Education. “It affords MBU the opportunity to contribute resources, expertise, and skills to a significant community effort to support local children and families.”
Political science major Leidiana Delgado ’23 serves as a tutor mentor for the program, developing resources, tools, and activities to help MBU tutors meet the different needs of students and make each session a success.
“Staunton is a great town that I have been able to call home during my time at Mary Baldwin,” said Delgado, who’s originally from Palm Beach, Florida. “I am so happy to be able to help local students and to connect with the community through education.”