Coordinator, Columbia & Greene Counties
While the covid-19 pandemic brought our regular activities to a sudden halt, we have been actively adapting and devising ways of staying connected to our student and volunteer community. Our volunteers and staff have been reaching out to students to provide referrals to resources available in our community. These have included, USCRI (US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants), NY Dept of Labor for unemployment benefits, social services, Catholic Charities, food pantries, Columbia County Healthcare Consortium, Columbia Opportunities, Community Action of Greene County, and more.
The online volunteer training platform has allowed us to continue training our new volunteers, and the Zoom application has allowed us to connect face-to-face over the distance. As of this time, 5 new volunteers have completed initial training. Eleven volunteers have opted to take Literacy New York’s new Successful Remote Tutoring training, which provides instruction on working with students via distance learning.
One of our volunteers from Team Hudson is hosting an ESL drop in class online and has been working with five Literacy Connections’ students. In April, she provided 22 hours of online instruction, hosting multiple sessions per week.
Four of our ESL, one-on-one matches continue to stay in contact. One pair is using the phone and the postal service. The tutor mails worksheets copied from a book from our lending library, sends them to his student to complete, and then they review them over the phone. One study team is using the phone and text to practice conversation and basic communication. Two of these study teams are meeting via Zoom.
Two of our basic reading study teams are staying active. One pair is meeting via Zoom. The other tutor coached her student, over the phone, to utilize the computer in the student’s home. This student normally has a very busy schedule, and has been resistant to doing homework. Once the student began to study online, she had a breakthrough, study is enjoyable and fun!
Currently, almost 20 students have requested distance learning opportunities and we are currently working on training and matching volunteers to work with them.