How students are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 crisis is an unsettling time for all, especially for children who rely on structure each day to learn and grow. An indefinite closure of the Boston Public Schools means that students are not currently receiving their typical level of instructional support.

Even without the stresses of these uncertain times, almost all students will experience some degree of learning loss during extended breaks. Typically, summer learning loss is compounded by socioeconomic status. For many of the students we serve in the Boston Public Schools – over 70% of whom are considered economically disadvantaged – they’re already highly vulnerable to the effects of extended time away from the classroom. This particular break from school is likely to significantly amplify the learning loss gap between these students and their peers.

This would mean more third-graders losing opportunities to reach critical reading levels at a pivotal juncture in their lives, and more high school seniors unable to walk the stage for graduation.

How mentors will make a difference

Our mentors work with these students every week, in part, to build a sense of normalcy and consistency in the classroom. That’s why it’s so important to us that we help reunite our students with their mentors as soon as the Boston Public Schools reopen their doors. The consistent weekly support from their mentors will go a long way towards helping students get back on track and recover a sense of normalcy in their lives when this pandemic subsides. We’re currently surveying teachers and school leaders to understand additional ways our mentors can support students and their learning during this time away from the school building.

How you can help us support students

Since our primary work supports students directly in the classroom, we are not currently able to deliver our academic mentoring services. We’re calling on our community to help us solidify our future so that we can make sure students solidify theirs.

To do this, we’re asking you to make a financial contribution today that will enable us to explore virtual mentoring services now and expand our in-person mentoring programs in the upcoming school year. The massive disruptions to students’ progress caused by COVID-19 will make the need for our mentors to hit the ground running even more urgent when the new school year begins in September.


What your contribution will do

As the Boston Public Schools community recovers from the challenges brought on by this crisis, we’re anticipating a greater need for student support to help close the academic and socio-emotional gaps that will widen by next school year. To meet these demands, we need funding for the following:

For more information about how to support our needs, or to make an offline donation, please contact Jim Laudisio at [email protected]