Since March 2020, when school were closed because of COVID-19, SWIS has received many emails and phone calls from teachers, guidance counsellors and parent. Special attention has been provided for ESL students who face even greater challenges settling into a new country and learning English – all during a pandemic. SWIS is very proud of our group session of Youth Helping Youth for Success which met for 60 sessions in the last year so far.
This group met with several students on Zoom and/or Google Classroom every day, but there were too many students who needed help and were struggling to continue learning under the circumstances. We were incredibly busy and it was difficult to manage and provide service to all of them, so we selected several senior students from the Newcomer Orientation Week (NOW) group and matched them with ESL students. SWIS helped arrange meeting schedules and some students wanted meet every day, while other students met twice weekly. The matches practiced the online learning tools together, made sure that the class schedule are in order and that their homework and lesson and plans were updated and posted. SWIS staff accompanied the volunteer and student in each session.
Freddy was in grade nine in March when he first communicated with us. He was struggling with four courses. NOW Peer Leader, Natalia, became his as a mentor. She began to provide academic support to him on a regular basis. Natalia is an excellent leader and volunteer, she work so hard with Freddy that after few months, Freddy successfully passed three courses and finished the final course with Natalia’s help in summer school. Freddy’s parent and teachers were very pleased and appreciated this impactful help!
Freddy’s success is just one example. SWIS has many more students who passed their courses and become more confident with their lessons as a result of being match in Youth Helping Youth for Success!