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Struggling with virtual learning? Check out this free peer tutoring program

The Study Hard Project helps middle and high school students in our area meet their academic potential one free study session at a time.

With so many students learning virtually these days, getting extra help in a subject they're struggling with can be a challenge and sometimes expensive.

But free tutoring and even free SAT prep is out there!

It's called "The Study Hard Project." It's all about students helping students.

Newswatch 16's Ryan Leckey first introduced us to the program when it launched back in February

On Thursday, Ryan met up with founder Ava Hazzouri and some others who volunteer with the program to show how the organization has expanded and is helping virtual learners during the pandemic.

It's open to all students in our area.

THE GOAL OF "THE STUDY HARD PROJECT: (from the founder) 

To provide free, easily accessible homework help, one-on-one tutoring, SAT prep classes, and educationally enriching experiences to interested students from all backgrounds, especially low-income and minority students, in the community.

The Study Hard Project is free and open to the community. The tutors and volunteers make studying fun while providing access to opportunities that are often reserved for privileged students.

HOW TO GET INVOLVED/SIGN UP:

You can schedule your tutoring weekly. 

HEAD HERE to connect with The Study Hard Project (and scroll down)

Sign-ups for SAT prep class that starts on September 20 are now open, and so is tutoring and homework help for September 27 (the first day of tutoring). Note: you can't sign up for all the weeks at once, one week at a time. This is in place to give everyone the same chance of getting a spot.

All clubs and webinars are also open online.

WHAT IS OFFERED: 

The Study Hard Project offers middle and high school students several different ways to improve academic achievement. From one-on-one tutoring and homework help to SAT prep classes, volunteers want to provide a stress-free, no-judgment zone where students can benefit from studying hard together.

The group even offers seasonal book clubs with weekly discussion groups. The self-care club helps students prioritize their brain and body health. There's even a creativity club that's full of fun activities to give students' brains a break. The community service club helps kids feel their value.

WHAT MAKES IT DIFFERENT: 

  • It's all online.
  • It's all free.
  • It's students helping students meet their goals.
  • It's a community of motivated, well-rounded kids, who are "too school for cool" and there's nothing cooler than that!

HELP FOR FUTURE COLLEGE STUDENTS: 

The Study Hard Project also helps with the college application process and beyond. One of the biggest challenges as students is knowing what to do when they grow up. 

The organization offers sneak peeks into various careers and jobs, opportunities to shadow professionals in the community, and other purpose-driven incentives to become our best selves today and succeed tomorrow.

WHY THE HELP IS EVEN MORE IMPORTANT DURING COVID: 

Every student could use a little extra help to understand the information being taught in the classroom setting, especially when the classroom is online and, even more, when learning is asynchronous.

Learning online can be lonely, and many school clubs and activities are canceled. The Study Hard Project is here to join with students in the community and foster connection as we meet our short-term and long-term goals inside and outside the classroom.

MINIMIZING STRESS: 

The group's goal is to help parents stop stressing about how to get their kids to continue to learn and grow and develop socially, emotionally, and academically— this is kids helping kids with all the things they need. 

Plus, there are a number of things for grown-ups, too. The book club and the wellness club are open to anyone who wants to register. 

The first wellness club event is this fall.

- Fall Wellness Workshop 10/3 3:30 pm ET

- Together, Apart: Teens In Pandemic Mode

- Dr. Jill Kasper, Scranton native, pediatrician, and Harvard Medical School faculty member, will teach us how to improve our immune systems in the midst of a pandemic.

The whole project and goal of "Study Hard" is a community effort, we're all in this together. Our community is made up of middle school, high school, and college students, teachers, retired teachers, college professors, public servants, physicians, school psychologists, psychologists, moms, dads, grandparents, friends, and community leaders.

Are you a parent struggling at home with all the virtual learning going on?  

Psychologist Dr. Lauren Hazzouri shared some tips on Thursday's show, including:

  1. Set a learning-specific workspace.
  2. Create a structured schedule.
  3. Support their learning; don't do it for them. [ex, how long can they stay engaged without your prompting?]
  4. Let them show and tell you what they're learning.
  5. Get physical by incorporating movement into the school day.
  6. Talk it out, allocate time for your child to express emotion throughout the day. [Frustration! Set a time for your child to vent, so that it doesn't bleed into all of the moments]
  7. Supplement with outside resources when necessary. Here's one resource here. And another at this link!
  8. Keep expectations realistic.
  9. Balance core subjects with creative art and play.