By Emily Garcia
Seniors Sarah Shapiro and Skye Loventhal started a virtual tutoring service to help other young people stuck at home during this pandemic. These two seniors from Granada Hills Charter sought to encourage elementary school students to carry on with their own studies even from home. They have created a website that is easily accessible and free with an online virtual learning experience.
In the last three months, The Covid NineTEEN Project has recruited roughly 100 tutors, all of whom assist nearly 300 kids who are in first through fifth grade. This tutoring service offers a variety of subjects such as history, science, English, and math. It also provides assistance in 14 different languages. Some tutors volunteer to teach other activities such as cooking, yoga, dance, and coding as well as traditional academic subjects. These classes are scheduled from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. on weekdays and 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on weekends.
Loventhal and Shapiro believe teens can help make a difference and come forth to help others in a time of need, especially when parents or guardians are unavailable with work.
“I really just want people to see that there are people from our generation who are truly passionate about advocacy, helping people and making a difference in this world,” Loventhal said.
“We just want to serve as a form of guidance for these kids, be a mentor for them during these times,” Shapiro added.
Both Shapiro and Loventhal have gone to school together since they were two. Despite the fact that the project took lots of work, both feel that it was all worth it in the end. Quarantine wasn’t going to hold them back from pursuing an incredible opportunity to help others.
“I mean, we have all this free time now, so we might as well use it to make a difference in the world,” Shapiro said.
These teens are keeping kids busy with lots of guided activities and tutoring. When school is over, their program will evolve into an online summer camp seven days a week. The goal is to motivate students and take the burden off of parents during these difficult times.