The Village Project partners with local schools for virtual learning experience

The It Take A Village Project took on a virtual form this spring, as Elon students partnered with K-5 students from seven local elementary schools for 10 weeks of tutoring and connections.

The It Takes A Village Project continued its tradition of supporting local students in their efforts to learn and grow in their classrooms and beyond – although, the program focusing on access and success took on a new form this year.

In a typical year, area K-12 students come to Elon’s campus every Wednesday after school for eight weeks of tutoring in the fall and spring. They work one-on-one or in small groups with Elon student tutors on mathematics, reading comprehension and other areas.

This year’s program was instead fully virtual and took place for two hours a week over a 10-week period. Elon’s student tutors met with hundreds of local students each week from one of seven partner elementary schools in Alamance County. This year’s program was open to K-5 students at Andrews, Eastlawn, Garrett, Grove Park, Haw River, Newlin and Pleasant Grove elementary schools.

Following weeks of learning and fellowship, this year’s Village Project concluded with a variety of celebrations at each of the partner elementary schools. Events included presentations showcasing students’ development in the Village, as well as food, fun and games for students and their families.

First-grade students at Newlin Elementary take part in their Village Project end-of-year celebration.

For instance, at Haw River, students shared the math lessons they learned during a socially distanced celebration with their families. Students and families at Grove Park centered their celebration on the theme of family relationships, as they played board games created by Village Project students. The celebration at Eastlawn Elementary took the form of a virtual party for students and their families.

Each of the seven partner schools invited around 100 of their students to take part in this year’s Village Project, and approximately 160 Elon students volunteered to help with the program. Although the Village Project took on a different form this year, it still provided local students with the same opportunities to continue their learning and build new connections.

“I am grateful to the many Elon Village tutors who pivoted so seamlessly to a virtual format with our tutees this spring,” said Vice President for Access and Success and Professor of Education Jean Rattigan-Rohr. “Tutors and their supervising teachers worked really hard to keep our K-5 students engaged over the past 10 weeks. I am hopeful we will be able to resume our traditional face-to-face Village in the fall.”

Founded in 2008, the “It Takes A Village” Project operates within the university’s Center for Access and Success. The program takes a collaborative approach to assist local students with reading, mathematics and other academic areas. Students and their parents meet with Elon student tutors and trained community volunteers for weekly tutoring sessions on campus. The program features two eight-week sessions in the spring and fall, as well as the Summer in the Village program during the summer months.

Learn more about the Village Project and other Center for Access and Success initiatives here.