BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - As virtual learning for students in East Baton Rouge Parish is kicking off soon, non-profit organizations are gearing up to help the process.
“We want the message to them to be clear that we are here to support them and we are making every effort that we can to continue our services,” said Kai Simmons, director of volunteers for Volunteers in Public Schools (VIPS).
Simmons is getting participants ready to help students.The non-profit has partnered with the East Baton Rouge Parish School System to assist match volunteers with students that need a little extra help in math and reading.
“Volunteers are trained and prepared. We also have many virtual platforms that we’re using to conduct our virtual tutoring and in the process of purchasing more tools that will keep students engaged and attentive during tutoring sessions,” said Simmons.
With parents’ permission, teachers can refer student to VIPS to help make learning a little easier. Simmons says it’s a resource that may be more important now than ever.
”Our children need us even more now with the lack of school. We’ve always encouraged community support; that is what makes it work. You have to involve everyone ‘cause we’re all in this together,” Simmons said.
Organizers with the non-profit say they’re also looking for a little help. Their costs include buying books and learning resources for student to study at home.
”The biggest challenge has been fundraising events that we have every year like clockwork that we kind of depend on. Any support that the public is willing to give, we definitely welcome so that we can continue our services,” Simmons said.
The most important thing Simmons says they need is volunteers to help students and parents through a challenging school year.
”You know, everyone is facing the same challenges in varying ways with these circumstances, however, we are doing our part, the community is also doing their parts and has been, and we’re very proud of that,” Simmons said.
The organization is also looking for partnerships with businesses and departments that will provide virtual tours and learning opportunities among varying industries.
“The fire department said they are willing to do some videos, exposing children to career opportunities with the fire department through a virtual tour with a fire truck and do a story time on the truck. So anything just to keep in contact with students and keep them engaged and let them know that we are here for them and for the parents as well,” said Simmons.
Those interested in volunteering can contact VIPS via phone at 225-226-4700 or email at VIPS@ebrschools.org.
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