While many students already travel to Wards 7 and 8 to tutor each week for D.C. Reads and D.C. Schools Project, some will be staying closer to campus as members of Georgetown University Student Tutors, a new group that will tutor at Georgetown public schools next fall.
Lindsay Fountain (SFS ’15) and Ambika Kumar (MSB ’14) decided to found GUST after noticing a lack of after-school programming while working at Hardy Middle School in Georgetown.
“We have a lot of really good, strong tutoring programs on campus, but they are very focused. So a school like Hardy, located in beautiful Georgetown, but still experiencing those serious issues with achievement gaps, couldn’t get help,” Fountain said. “We were trying to found a very flexible, all-purpose tutoring service that will cater to schools that are interested, but don’t qualify for current Georgetown help.”
They established GUST to address this need. Kumar said that the club will focus in particular on schools with diverse student bodies.
“It was strange because you would think a school located in an affluent area like Glover Park would have the resources to fund after-school tutoring programs or students who receive private tutoring,” Kumar wrote in an email. “But because of the way public schools are getting redistricted, this is not the case at all.”
Fountain added that tutoring will become even more important with the upcoming closure of 15 D.C. public schools, the effects of which will be felt in Georgetown.
“A lot of those kids are shifted into schools like Hardy so they’re receiving an influx of kids that might come from weaker schools,” Fountain said. “We think they deserve just as much help as any other kid.”
GUST intends to hold a formal recruitment process in the fall to add to its current staff of 13 tutors. In comparison to other tutoring groups on campus, GUST will involve a less intensive time commitment.
“I was planning to try to do either D.C. Schools or D.C. Reads this coming fall, but with this new organization, I should be able to tutor without having to go far from campus which is much more convenient,” Whitney Pratt (COL ’14) said. “I appreciate and applaud those who take the time to go off campus and help children who need tutoring, especially those in other wards and parts of the city, but I haven’t been able to find enough time to do that so GUST is a way for me to contribute anyway.”
“Anyone tutoring is doing a good thing. There’s no wrong group to join. Ours we think is a little bit easier on the student schedule,” Fountain added.
Next fall Anna Dai (MSB ’15) and Meghan Anand (SFS ’15) will take over the primary leadership roles as president and treasurer, respectively.
“We just recently met altogether for the first time at our new club retreat, and I am really looking forward to working with such enthusiastic and interesting Hoyas during the upcoming year,” Dai wrote. “I can’t wait to see where this will carry us.”