Say Yes Guilford tutors spent more than 4000 hours working one-on-one with Guilford County Schools’ students over the 2020-21 school year in an effort to combat learning loss experienced by the COVID-19 pandemic. They served more than 200 students at 45 elementary and 13 middle schools. Additionally, GCS high schoolers earned more than 1400 service-learning hours tutoring younger students.

Say Yes Guilford used three distinct tutoring programs to address the needs of students: HELPS (Helping Early Learners with Practice Strategies) for 2-5th graders needing assistance with reading support, one-on-one community tutoring for elementary students needing help in other subjects, and A+ Test Prep and Tutoring for middle schoolers. HELPS pairs 2-5th grade students with a Federal Work-Study Student for 15-minute tutoring sessions three times a week, and the resulting data provides good insight into the impact of these strategies. Looking at data beginning in February, Middle-of-Year (MOY) compared to late May, End-of-Year (EOY), most students who enrolled in the program improved their reading skills, with those who were learning in-person showing the most growth:

  • 55% of HELPS students learning remotely improved in oral reading fluency between MOY and EOY.
  • 94% of HELPS students learning in-person improved in oral reading fluency between MOY and EOY.

Say Yes Guilford Chief Impact Officer Amanda Rosemann says this data aligns with local, state and national data showing the importance of students learning in person at school. “We are excited to increase the reach of the HELPS program in 2021-22. With plans to have tutors in as many at 20 GCS elementary schools, we believe we can help students make significant gains in reading fluency and comprehension,” she says. Also important to note, she says, is the impact on student’s social and emotional health. “100% of the students reported the program helped them become a better reader. That confidence will inspire them to keep working on those skills and continue to improve.”

94% of HELPS students surveyed said they liked doing the reading activities. Some of their reactions included:

  • “It helped me read better.”
  • “It makes me feel more confident.”
  • “Two things: telling about the story and hanging out with my tutor, she’s the best.”

Tutors and parents of students shared more positive feedback:

  • “I’m so glad I was granted the opportunity to help children who were struggling this year due to the pandemic. I will definitely be doing this next year!”
  • “I learned so much about each student as well as myself. I cannot wait to do it again next year.”
  • “Thank you!! This was perfect for us and we will continue signing up as long as it’s offered.”

Say Yes Guilford is working closely with Guilford County Schools to expand the tutoring program for the 2021-22 school year. Registration for in-person and remote tutoring will began near the start of the school year.

Read more about the HELPS impact in fall 2020.

Say Yes Guilford’s system of kindergarten-to-career supports is designed to give students the tools they need to graduate career or college ready and offers scholarship dollars to ease the burden of high education. Since its inception, Say Yes Guilford’s scholarship impact on GCS graduates totals over $37 million.

Say Yes Guilford is committed to providing access to support services and scholarships designed to prepare Guilford County Schools’ students for success in college, career and life.