Aggie Homework Helpline To Connect Children, School Districts To Texas A&M Tutors

Students from the College of Education & Human Development will provide virtual tutoring services to help families during the COVID-19 pandemic.
By Ashley Green, Texas A&M University College of Education & Human Development September 15, 2020

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The helpline will offer on-demand tutoring, regular tutoring sessions and an online bank of video mini-lessons and resources aligned to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills standards.

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Students, teachers and parents are struggling with the new face of education during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the Aggie Homework Helpline, Aggies are stepping up to make sure students succeed while also gaining real-life experience.

The Aggie Homework Helpline, launching Sept. 17, gives Texas A&M students the ability to provide assistance to P-12 students virtually. The goal is to connect Texas families and school district partners with Aggie tutors who are committed to improving learning outcomes for P-12 students.

“Going back to school looks and feels different across Texas this year. Families need homework help for their children and Aggie undergraduate students are motivated, adaptive and committed to selfless service,” said Valerie Hill-Jackson, professor and assistant dean of educator preparation. “The helpline is a natural partnership and central to the college’s mission to support communities and provide transformational learning experiences for our undergraduates.”

Three types of support are offered: on-demand tutoring, regular tutoring sessions and an online bank of video mini-lessons and resources aligned to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills standards for P-12 learners.

Students can receive tutoring in math, English, Spanish, science, social studies, research skills, time management and organization. Students will have the ability to share their screen and send photos of their homework pages to get homework-specific assistance.

For the on-demand tutoring sessions, education interns will be available to support elementary, middle and high school students in most subject areas. These students are undergraduates from the College of Education and Human Development, studying to become teachers and other professionals who will work with children and families.

“These interns have a variety of emphasis areas or majors that they are studying, including special education and bilingual education,” said Marcia Montague, clinical assistant professor of special education. “They are volunteering their time with the Aggie Homework Helpline as a component of practicum requirements for one or more courses they are currently taking.”

Tutors from Texas A&M’s Reads and Counts program will also offer recurring tutoring sessions to support K-6 students. Many of these students are education majors, but others are seeking a degree in various other areas of study at Texas A&M. These tutors will assist with specific homework questions or lead various activities to improve reading and math skills.

Parents and students will also have access to a variety of resources for PK-12 learners.

“Families will find read-alouds, mini videotaped lessons, guides to skill development and much more,” said Monica Neshyba, clinical assistant professor of bilingual education. “All of the resources will also support English language learners and learners with special needs. Most of all, these resources are free.”

The helpline was created to help families during the COVID-19 pandemic, but Hill-Jackson believes it is sustainable beyond just a couple of semesters.

“Since tutoring is considered a key intervention during COVID-19, it makes sense to keep this good work going for both the short and long-term,” Hill-Jackson said. “The COVID-19 pandemic is pushing CEHD faculty and staff to reimagine how we provide meaningful experiences for education students and has forever changed how we provide support to PK-12 learners and families.”

Visit the Aggie Homework Helpline to learn more.

This article by Ashley Green originally appeared on the College of Education & Human Development website.

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