SAR High School’s peer tutors celebrated their accomplishments with an end of year ice cream party. This past year, 165 students volunteered to tutor math and/or science to SAR peers throughout the school year. “I am amazed at the level of commitment and devotion these student tutors had to their peer tutees,” said Leah Bader, peer tutoring coordinator. “Some tutors reported that they worked with their students for two hours before a test or put in even more time until they were confident that their tutees understood the material.”
Back in September, over 100 sophomores, juniors and seniors signed up to become tutors to fellow SAR HS students—an overwhelmingly positive response. Word spread quickly and many freshmen approached Bader to ask, “Why can’t we be involved?” From there, she formed a partnership with Michele Saks, math department chair at SAR Academy, and together they were able to extend the peer tutoring program to Academy students. Tutors met with middle school students to mentor them in math for one hour a week over Zoom.
As junior Sarah Nerenberg shared, “The peer tutoring program allowed me to revisit subjects that I loved and the ability to bond with kids in younger grades where we normally don’t have the chance to. Learning together with my tutee has given me the opportunity to create new friendships and further my learning of subjects from previous years.” As an Academy student shared in a thank you note to her mentor, “Thank you so much for everything U have done for me this year. You have made me a better student!” Fellow SAR HS junior Shoshana Hoffman Kleiner added, “I loved helping my mentee with math, but also changing their attitude towards the subject. It is amazing to make an impact on someone’s approach to learning who is also close to my age.”
Senior peer tutor Shai Goldberg-Kellman graciously volunteered his services for underclassmen preparing for finals even after the program ended. “I chose to tutor in the beginning of the year to help other students,” he said, “so it made a lot of sense for me to continue helping as many students as I could leading up to finals, especially with all the extra time at my disposal. It was rewarding to see how others valued my help.” One of his freshman tutees added, “It was great to work with Shai, especially during such a high pressure time when there was a need to review concepts that were learned months ago. It was a huge relief knowing I had someone to turn to to answer questions if needed.”
While the goal was to assist students in learning the material, ultimately the acts of kindness and relationships that were built across grades created a wonderful sense of community.