The student newspaper of, by, and for Ames High School.

The WEB

59°
The student newspaper of, by, and for Ames High School.

The WEB

The student newspaper of, by, and for Ames High School.

The WEB

Club Spotlight: EAST Q&A

EAST (Elementary After School Tutoring) aims to provide free tutoring to elementary school students. In the process, it connects high school and elementary students.
EAST+volunteers+work+through+a+math+worksheet+with+elementary+school+students+as+Akshay+Sarda%2C+one+of+the+leaders+of+EAST%2C+observes.+
Harrison Orngard
EAST volunteers work through a math worksheet with elementary school students as Akshay Sarda, one of the leaders of EAST, observes.

EAST, short for Elementary After School Tutoring, was founded by Rachel Kim in 2015. Kim is one of the few Ames High graduates who has gone on to study at Harvard University. The club no longer tutors students after school, rather elementary-aged students come to weekly one hour sessions hosted at the Ames Public Library. Students are paired with a high school volunteer and work on either reading or math skills. The club is now led by seniors Akshay Sarda and Kritika Sharma, and junior Harrison Orngard.

The following interview has been condensed and edited for clarity. 

Tell me a little bit about EAST. 

Akshay Sarda: East Tutoring Club is aimed at promoting positive learning habits in the classroom through an hour of tutoring and extra help for individual students whose parents think they will benefit the most from it. EAST also helps younger students gain high school mentors and have role models to base new behaviors on and encourage them to be learners. We are creating a community of learners.

Story continues below advertisement
Juniors Nadia Kobayashi and Helen Mao tutor a student in math during an EAST session. (Harrison Orngard)

What are issues that you have experienced in creating EAST?

Sarda: In our first semester we didn’t have a lot of parent sign-ups but we got creative and worked more with the district. We started really pushing things out to counselors and instructional coaches at all the schools, and working with the middle school to get some sixth graders who could use the extra help. Shout out to Amy DeLashmutt, Director of Communications at the district office, she’s the GOAT. 

How does EAST help students who may not have as many opportunities and resources?

Sarda: It is free tutoring so it’s accessible to everyone, and the central location of the library makes it very easy to access so transportation shouldn’t be an issue for kids and neither should payment. And that’s a big part of EAST; we just want to give kids an extra hour of time where they can focus on instruction and on the skills that they’re lacking. Whether that’s reading comprehension or math, we want to help them out as much as possible. 

What is your favorite part of EAST? 

Sarda: I like meeting new kids and watching them grow, like from the first session to the last. I love seeing how they create a sense of community not only with them and their tutor, but with other kids. Because those interactions outside the classroom are what create a stronger community — a more united community. I also love embarrassing myself in front of the kids just to get the cheap laugh.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The WEB
$300
$450
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Ames High School, and Iowa needs student journalists. Your contribution will allow us to cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The WEB
$300
$450
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

The WEB staff encourages you to exercise your First Amendment rights in this public forum. To comment, click on the "logged in" link below. Then click on the Google icon and sign in using your Google school account.

Do not post comments that are obscene or libelous. Refrain from writing comments that use copyrighted materials or that involve personal attacks, insults or threats. And please relate all comments to the story.
All The WEB Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.