By JENNA SITEMAN | Intern
Palisades Charter High School senior Gracie Binder has a passion for tutoring students, and as classes in the fall will remain on Zoom and other online forums, she launched an online tutoring organization.
Quaranteen Tutors is a volunteer organization that aims to connect high school tutors to younger students looking for help in various subjects.
Binder already began tutoring this summer, knowing that many kids may have had a hard time absorbing the knowledge the end of their school year covered due to the rapid change in format. She has found peers who are looking forward to joining her tutoring organization in the fall, once the demand for tutors increases.
“Right now it’s going well [with just myself as a tutor] because a lot of kids are on break,” Binder said. “But we’ve been getting a lot of emails preparing for the fall with parents saying, ‘I want my students to come and get tutoring from you guys in the fall,’ and so a lot of what we’re doing right now is just preparing for that. So, I’ve recruited a few of my friends and gotten the word out to gain even more new tutors.”
Binder has been tutoring since her freshman year of high school and realized early on that it was something she felt naturally comfortable doing.
Additionally, she has experience working with children and shared that last summer, she worked as a counselor in training (CIT) at Tumbleweed Day Camp. The time Binder spent with the fourth-graders in her group sparked an interest in nurturing and helping kids.
“Being a CIT was one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had,” Binder shared. “I was helping fourth-graders and they were my favorite. That really got me to thinking about helping younger kids, and how I could really interact with them. That’s kind of where this idea started.”
In addition to founding Quaranteen Tutors, Binder is heavily involved at her school and is on the varsity softball team, the president of Moot Court (Mock Trial), vice president of a science-focused activism group called GIDAS and the commissioner of publicity for the Pali chapter of a government-focused group called Junior State of America.
Binder shared that she realizes being tutored online is a very new experience, so she focuses on beginning each session by talking to students and parents together, in order to assuage any anxieties parents might have about the tutoring.
“First off, I say ‘hello’ to the parents and meet them so that they see how trustworthy our tutors are,” she explained. “And then I talk to the students and help them and explain to them through Zoom. If there’s any technical difficulties we just wait, and make sure that they can hear me and I can hear them.”
A notable attribute of this organization is that it is completely free, yet includes high-quality assistance from passionate older students. Binder shared that in order to stay up to date on all areas her students need help with, she rereads old notes she has saved from her own schooling.
“I’ve been keeping all of my old notebooks and that’s a resource for me, if needed,” Binder said. “That’s why it’s also nice before each session that we will be able to know what subject and topics each kid needs, so that I can be able to look back and do my research, and make sure that I’m familiar with the topic before I get into it.”
When school resumes in August, Binder shared she feels excited that Quaranteen Tutors will be able to become a resource for younger students as well as high school-aged peers looking for help. Her goal with this program is to create a positive atmosphere for tutors and students.
“We’re really excited to have this program and to be able to help younger kids with their education,” Binder concluded. “I love to tutor and share information and teach, so I’m just really excited to help students.”
For more information, visit quaranteentutors.com.
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