Esther Zhang, left, and Stuti Sharma are Grade 11 students in the IB program at Semiahmoo Secondary School. The two created the Learning Bridge, an online tutoring and mentorship program, during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Submitted photo: Stuti Sharma)

Esther Zhang, left, and Stuti Sharma are Grade 11 students in the IB program at Semiahmoo Secondary School. The two created the Learning Bridge, an online tutoring and mentorship program, during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Submitted photo: Stuti Sharma)

COVID-19: Surrey students create free online tutoring, mentorship program

The Learning Bridge has around 30 tutors

Two students at Semiahmoo Secondary School have created an online tutoring and mentorship program in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s now grown to 30 mentors and about 50 kids being tutored.

Stuti Sharma and Esther Zhang, Grade 11 students in the IB program said they started thinking of the idea for the Learning Bridge around the beginning of spring break.

“Esther and I were just talking about potential ways to help out the community right now since we both felt really helpless at home and this is just something that we’re both passionate about and something that we thought that everyone needed because school closures were very likely at the time,” said Stuti.

The Ministry of Education announced the suspension of in-class learning on March 17.

READ ALSO: B.C. to suspend K-12 schools indefinitely due to COVID-19, March 17, 2020

According to the website, the Learning Bridge wants to “support teachers by providing yet another resource to direct students towards as they work tirelessly to create online programs.”

Esther said the ages range between grades 4 and 10.

“We have around 30 tutors and around 50 kids, so we do have a lot of kids and a lot of tutors. All the tutors, right now, everyone has a student and it’s actually going really well, it’s going really progressively,” she said.

While most of the students involved are from Surrey, Esther said they’re trying to open it for all grades and communities.

In order to take part in the Learning Bridge, Stuti said students need to either sign up as a mentor or student.

“What we do, is we connect the mentor — we’ll go through an interview process to make sure that the mentor is well-qualified — and then we’ll connect them with a student who we think is suitable of them,” she said. “From that, it’s basically just the mentor and the student connecting at their own time.”

But the Learning Bridge also has another program for resources where people can sign up to receive resources about a topic that interests you.

“So if you don’t want one-on-one tutoring, we also have that,” said Stuti.

Esther said the goal is to have resources up for the general public “because we understand that some kids might not have that access to technology and some parents don’t want them to use Zoom or other devices as they’re afraid of recording and things like that.”

READ ALSO: Surrey parents, students navigate remote learning during COVID-19, April 3, 2020

READ ALSO: ‘Having to re-invent the way they do their work’: What learning could look like in Surrey amid COVID-19, March 28, 2020

Most of the tutoring is done through Zoom, said Esther, but “at the end of the day, it is the own house choice to choose what kind of program they want to be tutored on.”

Overall, Esther said the response to the Learning Bridge has been “super positive.”

“Everyone’s really supportive of each other, the whole team. I think it’s really rare to find a team as dedicated to what they want to do as our,” she said. “All the students and all our mentors and tutors are so amazing and they’re trying so hard and putting so much effort to kind of make it really productive. I think that’s really special.

“It’s not just me and Stuti… I mean, yes, we started learning Bridge, but at the end of the day, it’s not just us two that’s carrying the team. I couldn’t accomplish this without the 30 other people behind it, so I think it’s really amazing how dedicated our tutors and mentors are to our actual programs.”

Because it’s all volunteer work, Stuti said that all of the mentors “understand the importance of solidarity.”

“We can see that by the time and effort that they’re putting in and the initiative that they’re taking. They’ll text us and ask us what other help we need, and this is all volunteer work, so we’re super grateful for all of them.”

For more information on the Learning Bridge, or to sign up, visit learningbridge.wixsite.com/website.

READ ALSO: Surrey Schools working on a plan to provide WiFi for students in need, April 11, 2020

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

An electric vehicle charging station in front of Hope’s municipal hall, district hall. (Photo: Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard)
40 electric vehicle charging stations planned for Surrey

Funding coming from all three levels of government

A tow truck works to pull a dump truck from a ditch at 176 Street and 40 Avenue, following a two-vehicle incident Tuesday (Jan. 19) afternoon. (Aaron Hinks photo)
PHOTOS: Dump truck, car collide in South Surrey

Intersection – 176 Street and 40 Avenue – was site of 2019 fatal collision

Police on the scene of a homicide in South Surrey’s Morgan Heights neighbourhood earlier this month. (Tracy Holmes photo)
Crime Stoppers received more than 500 tips related to gang activity in 2020: report

Metro Vancouver organization “urging local residents to keep providing anonymous tips”

Family and friends of Hudson Brooks marched as part of a call for answers from an IIO investigation into his 2015 death. (Black Press Media files)
Inquest to look into RCMP shooting death of Hudson Brooks

Charges agains the RCMP officer who shot Brooks were stayed in 2019

The old Rickshaw sign today, with the former restaurant location in the building behind it. (Photo: Tom Zillich)
SURREY NOW & THEN: Rickshaw sign stands as a reminder of Jung family’s restaurant days

A weekly look back at Surrey-area landmark sites and events

Syringe is prepared with one of B.C.’s first vials of Pfizer vaccine to prevent COVID-19, Victoria, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 caseload stays steady with 465 more Tuesday

No new outbreaks in health care facilities, 12 more deaths

A child joins the Uke ‘n Play kickoff event at the Chilliwack Library on Oct. 1, 2016. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Events return, in virtual form, at Fraser Valley Regional Library

People can take part in ukulele jam, bullet journaling, reading groups and more

Cranbrook Food Bank coordinator Deanna Kemperman, Potluck Cafe Society executive director Naved Noorani and Sunshine Coast Community Services Society executive director Catherine Leach join B.C.’s new Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne on a video call about B.C. gaming grants, Jan. 19, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. gaming grants reorganized for COVID-19 priorities

Minister highlights community kitchens, food banks

(Pixabay photo)
‘Cocaine bananas’ arrive at Kelowna grocery stores after mix up from Colombia: RCMP

Kelowna RCMP recently concluded an international drug investigation after finding cocaine in local grocers’ banana shipments in 2019

People wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 walk past a window display at a store in downtown Vancouver, on Sunday, December 13, 2020. The association representing businesses across Metro Vancouver says the costs of COVID-19 continue to mount for its members.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Greater Vancouver business organization says members face uncertain outlook in 2021

Many Greater Vancouver businesses are barely treading water as they enter 2021

A new video from NCCIH and BC Northern Health titled ‘Healing in Pandemic Times: Indigenous Peoples, Stigma and COVID-19’ was animated by Joanne Gervais. (Photo Provided By: NCCIH Archives)
VIDEO: Stigma against Indigenous people is a ‘social sickness’

A new short animated video is aiming to educate the public on the stigmatization

A pinniped was attacked by an unseen predator off the shores of Dallas Road Monday night. (Courtesy of Steffani Cameron)
VIDEO: Seal hunting, not being hunted in video shot off Victoria waterfront

Victoria woman captures footage of pinniped activity off Dallas Road

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau vows to keep up the fight to sway U.S. on merits of Keystone XL pipeline

Canada’s pitch to the Biden team has framed Keystone XL as a more environmentally friendly project than original

The British Columbia Hotel Association (BCHA) sent out a sharply worded release late last week, in which it noted that the Tourism Industry Association of BC recently obtained a ‘legal opinion’ on the matter (Alex Passini photo)
Hotel associations push back against any potential ban on inter-provincial, non-essential travel restrictions

B.C. Premier John Horgan is seeking legal advice on banning non-essential travel

Most Read