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Students staying connected through new tutoring program

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PEORIA (WEEK) — The pandemic isn't stopping South Side Mission from making sure students are getting the help they need, in school and beyond.

The Mission is launching a program called "Check and Connect," a virtual initiative to keep tutors in touch with the students they would normally see in person.

21 students are currently enrolled, attending seven schools in the Peoria Public Schools system. Those include Pleasant Hill, Christ Lutheran, Trewyn, Harrison, Whittier, Calvin Coolidge, and Roosevelt.

"The students are familiar with us, the school district is familiar with us, so it just makes for an easy situation for both sides to get the additional pieces that they need, to make sure that students are progressing well," says Mission Development Manager Rich Draeger.

"It also enables us to continue our outreach into the community to the families that we're serving."

While the program is a new offering, it's based in the Mission's pre-existing "GAP" (Greater Academic Progress) tutoring program.

Through Check and Connect, students interact with staff members they would normally see in-person, which Draeger says helps aid the transition to the virtual format.

It also provides Mission staff the chance to monitor home life, and provide assistance if there's anything that needs to be addressed.

"It's a way for us to continue to reach out to these students and their families to make sure that not only are the students keeping up-to-date with their schoolwork, but also to check in with the families," says Draeger, "making sure that the families themselves maybe aren't in a situation where we can provide another source of ministry to the families as well."

For more information, you can contact Rich at (309) 676-4604 or (309) 678-9313.

Jon Schoenheider

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