This past school year, we received a request from a teacher: Could we provide a volunteer to assist a new student who had just arrived from China and spoke very little English? The child was not progressing well with his language development, and was often confused. Given that the parents spoke little English at home, the teacher was concerned that the young boy would fall further behind in his studies.
Our coordinator had a volunteer who happened to be Chinese and spoke Mandarin. She was willing to tutor one day a week for an hour. The introduction was made, and the student and the volunteer were connected.
Only a few weeks later, the teacher emailed a glowing report on the student’s immediate improvement:
“Not only is the tutor addressing his needs academically with regards to language, she takes a genuine interest in what our ‘next steps’ are for success. She has also provided an invaluable bridge to home thanks to her ability to communicate in Chinese. Thank you so much for providing us with these wonderful volunteers!!”