Tutor Teens Awarded Grant to Develop and Scale High-Impact Tutoring Model to Boost Academic Achievement for All Students
Following Competitive Process, Tutor Teens Selected to Join National Community of Practice, Build Evidence Base for Cost-Effective, Sustainable Learning Solutions
Cincinnati, OH (October 28, 2022) -- Tutor Teens, a student-launched, community-driven, free, virtual tutoring service that matches tutors in grades 8-12 with students in grades K-12 today announced it has been awarded competitive grant funding to refine and expand its tutoring model.
The award, presented by the Gates Foundation backed Accelerate, is part of a broader national effort to develop and scale sustainable, cost-effective models for high-impact tutoring that boosts academic achievement for all students.
“Peer tutoring is a huge untapped opportunity, especially when paired with technology tools, and it’s more urgent than ever given the number of students who fell behind during the pandemic. We’re thrilled that Accelerate is recognizing student innovation in this important area,” said Erin Finn, Tutor Teens co-founder, and a Senior at The Seven Hills School.
Tutor Teens is one of 31 research and education partners selected to receive the award, as well as to join a community to share best practices and resources and ultimately help inform Accelerate's national research and policy agenda.
“We know that good tutoring programs work — partly because well-off families have used them to boost student success for generations. And we know that those same programs can be a powerful tool to close racial and economic opportunity gaps when we give less privileged students the same access. What we haven’t figured out yet is how to make high-impact tutoring available for everyone,” said Accelerate CEO Kevin Huffman.
“With districts deciding how to spend one-time federal funds to combat the effects of the pandemic, solving that challenge has never been more urgent."
Launched in March 2020 amidst the Covid crisis, Tutor Teens has since recruited 200 volunteer tutors, and has provided more than 3,600 hours of free tutoring to 290 students. The founders immediately turned to no-code technology and collaboration tools to grow the program. They also participated in Cintrifuse’s youth entrepreneurship program “Entrepreneurs Change the World Program” which is now led by Main Street Ventures under the name “Inventure Entrepreneurship Academy.”
“Tutor Teens loudly confirms the critical value of our young innovators. This TikTok and eSports generation is far more comfortable with dilemmas — problems that cannot be solved, but which must be managed with creativity and agility. They are not as intimidated as we are by being blind-sided, disrupted, or presented with unsolvable problems,” said Pete Blackshaw, CEO of Cintrifuse and member of the Tutor Teens advisory board.
Accelerate’s announcement of the inaugural cohort of grantees follows a competitive national selection process. In spring 2022, Accelerate, as part of its launch, released a Call to Effective Action to recruit partners to help it design, launch, and scale high-impact tutoring efforts and to build a community committed to impact and to shaping the evidence base for tutoring.
Partners interested in the initiative were asked to first submit a letter of intent outlining their high-level vision. Following review of more than 200 letters by a panel of diverse experts, finalists were selected and invited to submit a full-length proposal. Beyond the inaugural cohort of grantees, Accelerate will continue to make additional investments in tutoring innovation over time.
View a list of all grantees and a summary of their tutoring models.
About Tutor Teens
Tutor Teens is a teen-founded, teen-run, free virtual tutoring program that seeks to reimagine learning. Launched in March 2020 when schools first shutdown due to Covid-19, Tutor Teens matches Cincinnati students in grades K-12 with a local teen tutor who works with them over several months as they gain subject mastery and confidence. To-date, Tutor Teens has recruited 200 volunteer tutors, and has provided more than 3,600 hours of free tutoring to 290 students.
Accelerate is a nonprofit organization that seeks to embed high-impact tutoring programs into public schools now and for the long term. Launched in April 2022 with an initial fund of $65 million, Accelerate funds and supports innovation in schools, launches high-quality research, and advances a federal and state policy agenda to support this work.
Accelerate is supported by Kenneth C. Griffin, chief executive officer of Citadel; Arnold Ventures; the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; and the Overdeck Family Foundation.
Erin Finn, Tutor Teens Co-Founder, and Executive Director