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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Homework helper program is a success. Photo: Reuters
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Homework helper program is a success. Photo: Reuters

Rep. AOC signs up 13,000 homework helpers for students affected by remote learning in her district

Team AOC has recruited thousands across the nation to help kids with homework.

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Since schools across the nation began to shut down and transition to remote learning over Covid-19 safety concerns, parents and teachers have become increasingly overwhelmed with the added workload.  

But there’s also the concern that students may fall behind in school as a result of the pandemic. From limited resources, to transitioning to a new format of learning, there are plenty of cracks for students to fall through. 

A Pew Research Center study from October found that seven in 10 parents with students attending school online say they or another adult in the household has resorted to giving additional instruction and tutoring beyond what schools can give. 

It’s an added workload for parents, and an additional strain on families. However not every household has the time to give, and some students don’t have parents at all. 

The biggest star within the progressive movement, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, often has new ideas that go along with her mission of combating equities, big money, and systemic racism. While not often accepted by the Democratic party, the flow of ideas are a testament to her constant search for bettering the lives of her constituents. 

For instance, she had the idea of forming a coalition of “Progressive Penpals” over the summer, an idea sparked to help the struggling U.S. Postal Service, especially throughout 2020. 

Most recently, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez had an idea for students in the situation where homework help is in incredibly short demand. 

With both time and energy in short supply, parents and teachers could use some assistance. That's where Ocasio-Cortez’s idea for a new tutoring program could come in, an idea that has only continued to grow since its inception. 

In late November, AOC’s campaign formally launched a virtual Homework Helpers Program following a seven week-long pilot that involved around 100 students from a community in the Bronx. 

Initially, about 500 volunteer tutors signed up to take part.

The latest addition to the program involves educators and volunteers from across the nation, who will provide students living in AOC’s 14th congressional district with one hour of free virtual homework help per week. 

A variety of languages are in high demand. Spanish, Bangla, Urdu, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, French, and Kru are just some of the languages spoken in her district.

According to Team AOC, volunteers are supported and trained by experienced educators. Amid recent additional school closures, her team had an initial goal of serving 1,000 students for the 2020-2021 school year.

They got way more than that.

“Our Homework Helpers program is off to a roaring start! I can’t thank you all enough.

Our call for volunteer tutors to help families w/ remote learning yielded *11,000* volunteers! Your response was so inspiring that I decided to sign up for 4 hrs too :)” AOC wrote on Twitter, just hours after the application via Google Doc was opened.

This time around, the response was even greater. In the end 13,000 people signed up to be volunteer tutors. According to Team AOC, it was such a huge response that they were forced to close volunteer signups. 

But now her team says it's in a “pickle.”

“We did not expect such a huge outpouring of support, but now we're in a pickle, because sorting through these volunteers, vetting them, and getting them connected to students is going to take a massive amount of work,” her site reads. 

Sounds like a good problem to have.

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