School News: A New Tutoring Model

Winter 2021

In recent months, many schools have had to pivot to distance learning, a change that has exacerbated income inequities; some students without reliable Wi-Fi or a quiet space to work have fallen behind. This has meant that the work of Daxton Gutekunst’s nonprofit Kid By Kid is needed more than ever.
Gutekunst, a sophomore at The Bishop’s School (CA), started Kid By Kid two years ago after the tutoring program he’d been working with through his school’s community service program moved to a different location. Kid By Kid provides academic opportunity, support, and assistance to underserved immigrant, refugee, and ESL students ages 5 to 13 through a one-on-one peer tutoring model. “That’s one of the benefits of Kid By Kid,” he says. “We’re able to actively pair a tutor with a student to tailor the needs that might have gone unnoticed by a school.”
He partners with the Haitian Ministry of San Diego to identify students who need tutors. To recruit peers as tutors, Gutekunst worked with Bishop’s director of service learning to email fellow students, and he had friends at other schools spread the word. There are 135 tutors, and 75 participate each week. They concentrate mostly on reading, writing, and math but can help with science, history, and other subjects as needed. They used to meet at the Haitian Ministry of San Diego’s church on Saturday afternoons but are now operating online because of pandemic restrictions.
There were some challenges with online tutoring, such as making sure students had access to the necessary technology and internet services. But Gutekunst says the students’ parents have helped ensure a smooth transition. Gutekunst says it was important to him to maintain relationships with the students his organization serves. “All of us are going through the same thing,” he says. “It’s not something that is uniquely affecting Kid By Kid. We as a community have to move forward.”

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