How Can I Help?
As I scrolled through my Facebook page, I saw a post about CovEducation, a program that pairs K-12 students with college tutors. I filled out the Google Form to volunteer. It was incredibly thorough with questions ranging from "What languages can you speak?" to "What subjects and grade levels do you feel comfortable teaching?" A couple of weeks later, I received a match: David, a first-grader from Boston.
His mother reached out to me first. She wanted me to help David with reading and writing, especially since she didn't speak much English. This was a chance for me to put my Chinese 23 skills to the test. I started writing my emails to David's mother in Chinese, so she wouldn't have to use translation software. It was rewarding to know that I could effectively communicate with a native Chinese speaker.
I meet with David every Friday from 3-4 pm on Zoom. Together, we read articles about how to properly wash your hands, the life cycle of a dragonfly, and how thunderstorms form. We watch Youtube videos about Thomas the Train; Mr. Bones, the Dinosaur Hunter; and The Dot. Most of the time, we talk through David's ideas; however, he does get distracted sometimes and lets me peek at his penguin stuffed animals and Legos. After class, David types up the answers to his homework, and I make edits on Google Docs. It's easy to feel powerless during quarantine, trapped in your house with nothing to do. I hope to play a small role in making the pandemic more manageable as a CovEducation volunteer.