Educate Arkansas: CALS Count Up Tutoring program

As seen on KTHV The Vine.

Count Up is a free mentoring program for K-12 students in Central Arkansas. Led by the Central Arkansas Library System this program matches experienced tutors with students to provide personalized one-on-one tutoring. With us today to tell us more is Michelle Walls, a teacher and Count Up tutor.

Tell us, how does this program work?

Count Up is an online program where we match tutors with students for one-on-one tutoring. Our students and tutors meet through Zoom. Initially, we gauge what kind of deficits the student might be having, whether from the COVID learning loss or if they're just struggling with something in the classroom. Some also just need homework help, or they want some enrichment to go above their grade level.

We have 77 volunteer tutors ranging from high school and college students to community members. Together, we've helped more than 194 students in less than two years.

You mentioned that some of these kids are struggling because of COVID. Do you see a lot of that?

We see a lot of that, yes. Today, kids are several years behind, so we know that one-on-one tutoring helps to build up those skills a lot faster and quicker than what they're getting in a general classroom. It also gives them a really good confidence boost that they know what they're doing and what they're learning and can take that to school and teach somebody else. It gives them confidence in other areas of their life.

As a student, I was hesitant to be tutored because I thought that made me look like I had a weakness. I hope that kids today understand that everybody needs a little bit of help from time to time.

They do come to us a little scared initially, not wanting to do it. I mean, who wants to do extra schooling? But we really build a rapport and relationship with them. We talk about how it’s going at home and what's happening this weekend. The kids are so excited to come to their meetings every week. It's great.

I’m so glad there’s a service like this available. If people want to participate in this, how can they do that?

Count Up is part of the Central Arkansas Library System and Tyler Compton is the program coordinator. For more information, Fill out our online form to show your interest, and then we will match you with a tutor.