As an 8th-grader in her last few months of middle school, 13-year-old Jada was plunged into virtual learning without a choice—like all students across the state and most students across the country. 

So when her mother, Elette, learned of an online tutoring program from Dr. Antionette Pearson from Leland Community Affairs, she signed Jada up.  

“Dr. Pearson and I attend the same church, and she knew it was available,” says Elette. “She sent out a text message to see if any of the kids needed tutoring once virtual learning started.” 

Interested families completed a Google survey that included their name, grade, what help they needed, the email address and parent name. Students and families were made aware of the Leland Community Affairs tutoring program via email and word of mouth. A total of six students received weekly help in math, reading, Spanish and English. 

Elette says that Pearson’s whole family is good at math, and Jada was connected to Pearson’s daughter, Brianne, who worked one-on-one with Jada on math once or twice a week over Google Meets. 

The tutoring support helped Jada to maintain her grade, providing a good set up for high school, where the content will be more challenging. She’s heading off (remotely) to Renaissance High School in Detroit this fall. 

Since she normally works out of the home as an electrician, Elette had to adjust her schedule to be home more with Jada early on in the quarantine. But other than being involved in the scheduling, Elette was fairly hands-off with the process. Jada was self-sufficient in connecting to the tutoring link on the home computer. 

Initially, students and parents let the tutors know what would be the best time to meet and that meeting was scheduled. Time for support varied based on the needs of the students, but most met at least once a week.

No fee was charged for the students to enroll.  

Jada, who is outgoing and kind-hearted, interested in many things, and smart, enjoyed the program. 

For the Ahmad family, the tutoring filled a need specific to the COVID-19 situation “as far as not being able to go out and physically do anything,” says Elette. “It was a really good experience.”


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