Local tutoring service concerned about more students students falling behind in learning

Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 5:39 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - For 8-year-old Gaston Davy, learning in a pandemic, often online, has been a challenge.

“The thing I really don’t like is sometimes you’re stuck in front of the screen the whole day,” Gaston said. “I had way more questions that I had to ask my mom or dad, and no offense but they are horrible teachers.”

Gaston fell behind even after classes moved back in person. That’s why his mom, Lynn, now takes him to Sylvan Learning Center in Hiawatha.

“I think there’s gonna be a lot of kids that will need extra help now moving forward, whether that’s in math, English, reading, comportment, or their own socialization because a lot of kids are home alone,” Lynn Davy said.

April Samp, co-owner of Sylvan Learning of Iowa, said Gaston’s struggles are far from unique.

“When they do come in and test, the students are anywhere from 6 to 9 months behind. Typically, what we’re seeing is reading where it’s hitting hard first because if you can’t comprehend and read, it’s hard to do math,” Samp said.

It can be easy for some kids to get lost learning in the group setting of the classroom. Samp said her worry is kids without resources being able to catch back up.

“I’m hoping with a lot of the second CARES Act, and the stimulus package that they are working on in Congress, there will be some funding for the state and the districts to create programs to really help, not just the ones really behind, but all the children who have suffered from COVID,” Samp said.

For concerned parents, Samp said it’s critical to pay attention now to make sure your child is meeting milestones.

“The best indicator are these milestones, that if your child is in third grade, they should be able to master these 20 skills,” Samp said. “Take a look: is your kid excited to go to school?”

For Lynn, she’s pleased with Gaston’s progress thus far, and planning to take his learning one day at a time.

“I don’t think you can look too far ahead because we don’t know still what things are gonna look like even next month,” Lynn said.

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