Student Attendance in Tutoring Program Decreases

Bear To Bear Struggles to Finds Students to Tutor


Anna Johns and Kendall Phillips, Staff Writers

Many students remember the middle school grind of struggling with the homework for  math, foreign language, or other classes. After reluctantly turning to our parents, we soon realized how their attempts to remember long division and algebra did not prevail.

Bear to Bear, an Upper School student led tutoring service, offers Blake Middle Schoolers an alternative narrative to the one many of us experienced. Bear to Bear offers Upper Schoolers the chance to bond with their Middle School peers, while also aiding them through the Middle School academic process.

Lily Halverson ‘20, a 3rd year returning Bear to Bear tutor, explains that she enjoys service as the kids’ role model. Nya Manneh ‘21, in her first year of tutoring adds, “I think it’s fun to teach kids about what they need to know. They’re usually really excited once they feel like they’ve figured something out which is always nice. And you get to see a lot of the lower school kids, which is really fun for someone who is new to Blake.”

But as great as the Bear to Bear service is, Halverson explains how recently the attendance of the Middle and Lower school students has gone down, especially over the past three years that she has been tutoring. Halverson states, “[It] is a little bit frustrating for the tutors, but we try to advertise the club and make sure that more people are coming each week.”

Currently there are far more tutors than students that come to the meetings. Arlina Shen ‘20, a third year Bear to Bear tutor, explains how they’ve had issues with students saying that they will attend but then not showing up. Due to the recent decrease in numbers, Shen explains that they have spoken with Jay Dean, the Middle School Director, in an attempt to send emails to Middle School teachers advising students to join the program and seek help if needed.

Hopefully the clubs’ planned advertising tactics will lead to an influx of Middle and Lower School students in coming weeks.