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City Year finding new ways of supporting students virtually

City Year has provided students with mentors who help with academics, social and emotional challenges for years and now they are continuing their success virtually.

City Year has provided students with mentors who help with academics, social and emotional challenges for years and now they are continuing their success virtually.

“Typically we would be inside the classroom with students shoulder to shoulder with them and whatever they’re working on in their classroom but we would also support them at lunch and help build them up not just as a student but as a person,” said Team leader with City Year Michael Bach.

The program’s success has many factors behind it but some leaders say the close proximity to age between students and “near-peer mentors” opens honest communication.

“Having near peer aspects as far as age really helps trust and bridge some of those gaps,” said Senior Impact Manager Kirsten Davis.

Gaps can range from emotional struggles to access to reliable internet which the program is providing during the pandemic.

The leaders with City Year have had to move their mentoring relationships online and find news ways to stay connected to students. From March to May of 2020, more than 1,400 calls were made to the homes of students.

Leaders say it’s allowed for a new way to connect with not only students but their families and find out how they can help students in ways which are unique to them.

“I’m starting to realize how this pandemic has exposed inequities and difficulties across various circumstances,” Bach said.

In response to those inequities, City Year has partnered with Columbus City Schools to open few learning extension centers with internet and school help.

“Some students might have internet but maybe it’s too loud at home or maybe they have several brothers and sisters that have their own classroom responsibilities so it’s too difficult for them to find a quiet space,” Bach said.

If you are interested in your student getting help and support from City Year click here.