Achieve Foundation Continues Tutoring Online, Funds Hotspots for Students

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From the Achieve Foundation:

School Buildings May Be Closed, But Achieve is Open for Business

During this prolonged period of self-quarantine and uncertainty, the board and staff of the Achieve Foundation are continuing our work (from home!) to support our school district’s students, educators and administrators.

Volunteer Tutor Program Moves Online


Virtual Volunteer Tutoring began on April 6 for students at Seth Boyden, South Orange Middle School and Columbia High School, and sessions for other students are beginning this week.

Tutoring starts off with a larger group check-in, and then students split up into breakout sessions for individual or small groups. All sessions are overseen by staff site supervisors.

More than 125 volunteer tutors have already stepped up to provide this very valuable service for so many students in our district. Many thanks go to session supervisors Suzanne Cicolello, Rebecca Ciuba, Sharonn Dinkins, Anna Elson, Jill Gergel, Deb Kaplus and Arelis Tapia-Vargas, who are working with Achieve’s Amy Forman and program director to make remote tutoring possible during this challenging time.

Achieve Funds Hotspots for SOMSD Students

At the end of March, Achieve partnered with the Parenting Center and together provided nearly $23,000 to the District to fund 100 hotspots for SOMSD families for use during the COVID-19 school closure. After some challenges with supply issues, hotspots have been ordered and are being prepped for delivery. District administration will be reaching out to families who responded to the technology needs survey about distribution in the near future.

“In partnership with the Achieve Foundation and the Parenting Center, the South Orange Maplewood School District is helping to address the lack of internet connectivity many of our community members face. Through Verizon Wireless, the district has procured 100 smartphones that have been configured as mobile hotspots. Using multiple telephone surveys, the district has identified families who are in need and is working with the families to distribute the devices. The district is thankful for the support of the Achieve Foundation and the Parenting Center as we all work to continue to bridge the digital divide.”  Keith Bonds, SOMSD, Director of Technology

“The Achieve Foundation was pleased to partner with the Parenting Center, the Superintendent, and the Senior Leadership in the District to fund critical connectivity tools that will enable students to participate in online learning in this crisis situation.”  – Eileen Collins Neri, Achieve Executive Director

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