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The Covid-nine-TEEN project

10/01/2020 10:57:55 AM

Oct1

This week we’re excited to introduce you to VBS member Skye Loventhal, co-founder of the Covid-nineTEEN Project!

Skye Loventhal is a senior at Granada Hills Charter High School and the daughter of our Director of the Etz Chaim Learning Center (ECLC), Keri (and Mark) Loventhal. For the past two years, she’s been working in the ECLC as a kindergarten teacher assistant. On her own time, Skye is an academic mentor at her school and is also a softball coach for the eight and under team. 

When the pandemic hit and schools pivoted to virtual learning in the spring, Skye and her best friend Sarah Shapiro, whose mother is also an educator, gathered a group of peers who wanted to help elementary age students but didn’t know exactly how. After much brainstorming, the group of 17 members created the Covid-nineTEEN project, an online program to engage elementary school students in tutoring and mentorship. With a broad range of areas including outreach, media, volunteer management, activities, and tutoring, the project has student participants from all over the world. They now have a volunteer base of 250 teen mentors providing free educational and recreational programming to over 800 students across 12 countries!

The class offerings range from languages, math, science, art, physical education to miscellaneous activities like game shows. Although each class goes through an approval process, tutors have a lot of flexibility in what they are able to offer. Skye and her team ensure that every offering is made age-appropriate and safe. The project also offers 1:1 tutoring every day in a 2-hour block. Break-out sessions are based on subject and language preferences. 

The covid-nineTEEN project has received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback from both parents and students. Many students have developed close relationships with their tutors since they can’t be around their friends and peers. Skye has one student who comes early to all her sessions so they can share stories and listen to music together. Children and their parents are raving about the programs. One parent shares, “[it] is well run and not only are they learning, but they are also having fun and getting exposure to some great role models in every session.” 

Skye understands that education is so important, and not everyone has the same opportunities she and her peers have been given. She knows that regardless of what our resources are, we can help others. We’re so proud of Skye for using her talent and energy to help hundreds of kids across the country learn, grow, and find moments of joy. We are blessed to have you in our community!

If you’d like to learn more about the covid-nineTEEN project, please click here. Watch news features on the project here.

Article written by Nitzan Barlev.

Sat, October 24 2020 6 Cheshvan 5781