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Tutor Match®

Every child deserves the chance to reach their educational potential.

 

86% of children in foster care perform below their grade level in math.

Children in foster care often fall behind in school. Many change schools when placed into care, making it even harder to keep up academically. Their standardized test scores are 15 to 20 percentile points below their peers who didn’t enter foster care.

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Tutor Match® provides free, quality tutoring for children and youth experiencing foster care in South Carolina.

Tutoring occurs weekly and is available for children in all grade levels.

 
  • Meredith
    As a teen in foster care, doing my homework was the last thing on my mind. I was in constant survival mode. Before I could think about my education, I had to survive in a strange classroom where I felt judged by everyone. I felt less than everyone around me.
    Meredith
    Foster Care Alumni
  • Crystial
    Our (foster) daughter looked forward to it every week. Her teacher sent home notes saying she was more engaged at school and she started raising her hand at read-alouds. It made a world of difference for her in just two months!
    Crystial
    Foster Parent
  • Celine
    Just a little bit of encouragement goes so far and helps a child believe that with hard work they can accomplish anything.
    Celine
    Volunteer Tutor

Do you know someone in SC who can benefit from Tutor Match®?

Give them a referral.

Anyone can complete a referral for Tutor Match® – youth, foster parents, group home staff, case workers, CASA/GALs, mentors, family members, and friends. Once a referral is received, our team will reach out to you, the youth, and the youth’s case worker.

Areas of Service

We currently offer free in-person and virtual tutoring across South Carolina.

Interested in Becoming a Volunteer Tutor?

1What is a tutor’s responsibility?
A. Connect in-person, or online if necessary with students to provide homework help and tutoring in the subjects for which you have demonstrated expertise for a minimum of one hour each week.

B. Guide students towards understanding specific topics, and towards overall academic success.

C. Prepare for each weekly tutoring session by locating materials (worksheets, online resources, games, etc.- we will provide a list of some to get you started! ) to aid in building comprehension of the subject area.

D. Encourage students to engage actively with their topics to build deeper understanding. Open ended/critical thinking questions encourage this.

E. Build student confidence in their ability to learn and understand challenging concepts, while being understanding of their circumstances related to foster care.

F. Use online tools such as an interactive whiteboard, voice and chat communication, and application sharing.

G. Set clear expectations of the student (respect, take notes to refer to later, bring relevant material, ask questions for clarification).

H. Change lives, one at a time!
2Who can be a tutor?
Anyone! Our tutors come from all backgrounds, with diverse experiences and knowledge.
3Am I qualified to become a tutor?
You most certainly are if you:

A. Are confident in the subject of your choice and can explain the concepts within it (or confident in your ability to seek answers and resources!)

B. Can guide a child from step 1 to step 2 with patience and understanding.

C. Can help a child learn how to study and do well in school.

D. Possess strong oral and written communication skills and are fluent in English language. [We welcome Spanish speaking tutors to assist with this specific population of children in care.]

E. Can tutor one hour a week for 6 months on average. Sometimes students reach their goals faster, sometimes it takes longer! We evaluate progress after each quarter.
4How is safety maintained?
A. Annual background checks completed by Fostering Great Ideas

B. Tutors complete a monthly report of all volunteer activity. This is shared with all members of the child welfare team (such as social services, guardian ad litem, foster parent, group home caregiver, etc).

C. Ongoing training and virtual support group opportunities for all tutors. Sample topics addressed include: loss, trauma, shame, ACES, resilience, tutoring skills, and effective virtual learning strategies. We do our best to equip all tutors with the support they need.
5What are the technology requirements for tutoring virtually?
A. Desktop, laptop, tablet, or other smartphone device

B. System memory on your computer/smartphone device

C. Running processor (CPU)

D. Wi-Fi, satellite internet, or hotspot connection

E. Headset or speakers/microphone for use with our online software voice feature

F. Webcam or integrated camera for use with online software video feature
6Do I have to be a tech guru to tutor virtually?
No. Our tutors have different levels of computer skills and capabilities. As long as you are able to navigate basic computer actions (open and navigate a web browser, send and open emails, etc.), you can do well with virtual tutoring.
7Is there a specific subject matter that you are looking for in a tutor?
All and any!

Math and English (reading comprehension, grammar, writing) are the most common subject areas addressed, but there is a need for all subjects - from science, and history to basic preschool learning, etc. Many students need overall academic support, as children in foster care often fall years behind their grade level.
8What if I only have limited days and times I can tutor?
You will be able to schedule tutoring sessions around your schedule! You will coordinate with the student’s caregiver for weekly sessions based on the days and times you have available. Please do remember that students are in school during the day, so tutoring needs to be in the afternoons, evenings, or on the weekends.
9Where does tutoring take place?
Preferably, in-person at the child’s foster home or group home placement, or at a mutually agreed upon public location convenient to both you and the caregiver.

Sessions must take place in a open, common area of the home, with at least one trusted caregiver/adult present.

If necessary due to distance or other personal limitations, tutoring can be done virtually via Zoom, Google Meet, or Microsoft Teams.
10What if I don’t know the answer or how to solve a problem during a session?
That’s okay! As adults, we tend to believe that we should know the answers to everything. However, showing uncertainty in front of children makes you more authentic, and approachable. When you admit you don’t know an answer, you can reassure the student that the two of you will figure it out together! It’s a great way to build rapport and trust. It also gives the student practice with problem solving and conflict resolution.

We encourage tutors to use the student’s textbook, notes, Google search, educational videos on YouTube, and a wide variety of tools to make the learning experience for the student more memorable, comprehensive, applicable to real world scenarios.
11What do I do if a child gets frustrated because they don’t understand how I’m explaining the material?
Be honest. “I get it, you’re frustrated. This is complicated stuff you’re learning. Here, let’s go about this another way.” Continuous adjustments to each student’s learning style is imperative.
12What are some common challenges that tutors may face?
Students may show frustration or confusion; a lack of motivation or effort; or poor ability to focus. At times, tutors may feel that the student is not improving. Tutors face the challenge of explaining difficult or unfamiliar material, and keeping the student engaged. With patience and perseverance, and support from the Tutor Match program manager, we are confident you can overcome any potential challenge!
13What support do you provide tutors?
One-on-one brainstorming, guidance, and problem solving with the program manager, as well as ongoing group training and virtual support group opportunities. Sample topics addressed include: loss, trauma, shame, ACES, resilience, tutoring skills, and effective virtual learning strategies. We do our best to equip all tutors with the support they need.
14How do I become a tutor?
The first step is to register for a Volunteer Tutor training (find the next training event at the bottom of this page). Trainings are held regularly online.

After training, we guide you through required national background checks, screenings and reference checks.

The application process usually takes 1-2 months, depending on how quickly you complete each step.
15What are the characteristics of a GREAT Tutor?!
● Adaptable & Flexible
● Confidential
● Critical thinker
● Active Listener
● Good Communicator
● Enthusiastic & Positive
● Empathetic & Patient

Upcoming Training Events:

september

26sep6:30 pm8:30 pmVolunteer Tutor Training - SCBecome a tutor for children & youth experiencing foster care in South Carolina

 

Are you interested in becoming a Tutor Match® tutor for a child experiencing foster care in South Carolina?

Fill out the form below to talk with a member of our team about how you can get involved with this Great Idea. We need tutors for in-person and virtual sessions.

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