For almost 30 years, Generations Incorporated has mentored children ages 4-9 in important literacy skills and worked to reduce learning opportunity gaps in Massachusetts. But with the new school year marked by the continued presence of the Covid-19 pandemic, different programs and strategies are necessary to meet the needs of today’s youth. Wes Enicks, the Executive Director of Generations Incorporated, spoke with me about how the organization is evolving to suit the needs of the moment.
For the 2020-21 school year, Generations Incorporated will deliver its programs virtually via Zoom Education. Regardless of whether the student’s school is conducting classes in-person, remotely, or on a hybrid schedule, Generations Incorporated’s programs will be available to offer uninterrupted 1 on 1 tutoring sessions to enrolled students 2 or 3 times per week. In a time where many students are struggling to adapt to the changes they’re facing, this service is invaluable, and ensuring its availability was a great challenge.
Because Generations Incorporated has had to shift to a completely 1 on 1 and completely virtual model, staff and mentors have all needed new training courses and software licenses to ensure their curriculum can be administered virtually with the same level of effectiveness. These training courses and orientations are also being conducted remotely, and also include a new cultural competency component conducted by a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) expert. The determination and flexibility they have shown during this shift has been nothing short of admirable. Further, by adding DEI training even amidst the other challenges they face, Generations Incorporated has shown that they are not merely reacting to Covid’s challenges but instead continuing to improve their core training and programming competencies.
By embracing the advantages virtual mentoring provides, Generation’s Incorporated is offering unparalleled flexibility to its partner schools in accommodating their individual scheduling and administrative needs. No matter how each school’s situation changes throughout the year, the virtual literacy tutoring program will be available to help students succeed. By serving each student one to one in the virtual setting, volunteers will be able to provide stability, advice, and support at a time when it is needed most.