UW-Platteville students help kids keep learning at home

Published: Apr. 14, 2020 at 7:27 PM CDT
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The COVID-19 pandemic means kids are stuck doing schoolwork at home. Students from UW-Platteville's School of Education have stepped up to keep kids learning and make sure they have some extra help.

Students are helping out by reading aloud to young kids and tutoring older kids in subjects like math, science and language.

Over 100 families signed their kids up, and those kids were paired with 75 UW-Platteville students.

Some university students are using this to get their required teaching hours they need for their degree, now that schools they were teaching in are shut down. However, many students are just volunteering their time.

"A lot of our students are from some of these smaller rural communities, they want to go back and teach in those rural communities, and so to have the opportunity to help the students that are in their schools and their school districts, it's been overwhelming," said School of Education Director Jen Collins.

Collins said the feedback from parents has made the process even more rewarding.

"We've heard from parents who are first responders who said, 'I just don't have the time right now to help my students with this homework.' We've got ones that are working full time, and they're like, 'Oh this is just an hour out of the day that's been really helpful,'" Collins said.

Collins said this is also a good learning experience for these future teachers, helping them be more flexible and adjust to different ways of teaching.

"To have the opportunity to sit and plan for and interact with students on a digital platform is something they're probably going to have to do in their future careers, so why not take the opportunity right now and get the experience," Collins explained.

UW-Platteville is even in conversations with local schools to continue this in the fall as a tutoring program, even if the quarantine ends.