SRHS teens launch free tutoring online
H2N, which stands for Homework Help Network, helps to reduce academic inequality that was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. It offers free group and one-on-one tutoring once a week with Scripps Ranch High School (SRHS) honor students, who are experienced in working with younger students.
Although many of Marshall's students have received help to attend online classes, such as getting Internet access and laptops, many are still falling behind. Some families cannot afford tutoring services, especially during the pandemic.
“Many parents also work from home and don't have enough time to help them with their homework,” said Anjali Koganti, 17, who is a co-founder of H2N and graduated from SRHS in spring 2020. “We fill in the gap to help these students and families.”
Koganti got the idea from TutorFly, which is another online tutoring service, but H2N is designed to work only with students at Marshall. She knew she could not do this alone. Koganti asked her friend Sumana Srinivas, who is a senior at SRHS and had taken a computer coding course last summer, for help with starting H2N. Both share the roles of creating and managing the website with Srinivas handling most of the student sign-ups.
With the help of Marshall's vice-principals Kaitlin Moffatt and Stephen Olds, Koganti and Srinivas set up H2N as a connection between the students at Marshall and SRHS.
“Vice-principals Moffatt and Olds helped us to get the resources together for H2N,” Koganti said. “They help us out with logistics and improvements for the website based on their knowledge of the students and parents.”
The vice-principals also help spread the word about H2N to the Marshall students' families, and they meet with Koganti and Srinivas once or twice a week to see how the program is doing.
Marshall's students choose a topic, reserve a time with a group or private session with a tutor and submit a specific question about their homework once a week. Meanwhile, SRHS students who would like to be a tutor can sign up on the website.
“Right now, we have about 20 Marshall Middle School students signed up for H2N, and we are hoping more will sign up,” Koganti said.
For now, Marshall is the only middle school in San Diego County that is using this tutoring model, which functions more like a high school club than a business. Koganti and Srinivas hope that other schools would adopt something similar to help struggling students and families.
“We see ourselves reaching out to other middle and high schools in Southern California to incorporate a H2N club,” Srinivas said. “We want this organization to help not just the Scripps Ranch community, but other surrounding communities as well.”