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A formal opening at CoLabs on Davis Street introduced the Evanston community to Peer2Peer Tutoring, a “semi-virtual” method of matching local students who could use a tutor with local high school students willing and able to share their knowledge.
Students who wish to be tutors sign up online, said Mindy Wallis, director of Peer2Peer in Evanston. After a phone interview with the New York office – and an orientation if they are accepted – students meet Ms. Wallis in person. She said her familiarity with the local student-tutors “will help make a good match” between pupil and tutor.
Tutors and pupils will find their own space to study.
“It’s a different kind of model,” said Erik Kimel, who founded the company in 2004, when he was attending Winston Churchill High School in Potomac, Md. Mr. Kimel was in Evanston for the Peer2Peer grand opening on Sept. 8. He told the RoundTable the genesis of Peer2Peer was “to connect students. …I was taking an AP class first period and a regular class second period, and I realized the kids in those two classes didn’t know each other,” he said. A student-to-student connection “gives a reason to get that extra A,” he said.
Ilise Rosen, Taylor Galvin, Josh Davidoff and Russell Fillmore-Brady, all juniors at Evanston Township High School, have already been accepted as Peer2Peer tutors, though none has yet received an assignment. Ilise said she would like to tutor students in math, science or Latin. Josh said his fields are Spanish and English, and Russell’s are German, English, history – “and debate, if anyone’s interested.” Taylor said she likes younger kids and is hoping to tutor middle-school or elementary-school students.
Giving students a job rather than suggesting that they volunteer their time, Mr. Kimel says, gives an edge to both the tutors and their pupils. “We believe you’ve got to show up and show people who you are,” he said.
Several ETHS students showed up at the grand opening to enlist as tutors. And since these young scholars already inhabit a sophisticated technological world, none seems fazed by signing up online in Evanston for an interview and orientation through New York to become tutors in Evanston.