YOCISO’s e-learning initiative was launched in March 2020 as a pilot project. E-learning had been identified as a need because of school closures due to COVID-19.
“The closure of schools was a trying time for many newcomer youth and their families,”says Daniela Arrieta, Youth Facilitator, YOCISO. “They encountered difficulties with the information provided by schools. Some newcomer students were left without supports, and had difficulty completing their assignments.”
“We saw this need and quickly reached out to all our volunteers and translators to provide support,” explains Donnielle Roman, Program Manager, YOCISO. This initiative has grown significantly since its inception. The need for academic support in our community increased significantly. Many organizations and teachers have reached out to YOCISO about our e-learning initiative, to support their clients and students.
“We are working together to mitigate the barriers and challenges that newcomer youth face regarding their academics,” added Donnielle. The online platform is accessible to students throughout Ottawa. Teachers and other community agencies have helped to spread the word and make sure the students know about this resource.
Here’s what some of our youth clients said about the initiative:
“I want to thank the YOCISO homework club because they helped me when I was stuck in my homework. Thank you so much YOCISO.”
“YOCISO is a very good place. The volunteers helped me a lot during this time. I’m thankful to YOCISO and the volunteers.”
Two of our volunteer tutors reflected on the program:
“Learning online doesn’t come without its challenges. It sometimes takes students a bit longer to have that “aha” moment. But knowing that that aha moment wouldn’t have happened without the homework support is why online tutoring is so important. These students want to have face-to-face support, they want to understand the concepts in a deep level, not just get the answers from Google. Supporting students online with their homework keeps the depth of their education by talking through solutions and problems with other people.”
“I’ve supported many students through YOCISO’s e-learning homework club, and it has been a great asset to students who seek one-on-one support in challenging subjects such as math and science. During each session scheduled online, we discussed the concepts that the student was confused about in details, and went through homework questions step-by-step. For students with math problems in particular, I could see (and hear) them getting the “aha” moment as we are analysing a confusing topic or process, and they’ve become more confident working on the related questions over time. Moreover, many students attended the sessions regularly (once or twice a week) since the e-learning homework club first started. We’ll continue to support their learning needs in this challenging time.”