Giving Green through the Heart: How Heart Math Tutoring contributes to the community

Monday, November 23, 2020

Every fall, the Giving Green campaign, fueled by generous UNC Charlotte employees, contributes to helping those in our community. The Giving Green in the Community as part of the Giving Green Campaign advances the effort to connect UNC Charlotte faculty and staff to the community through the giving of their time and talent to a greater cause. 

While slowing the spread COVID-19 brings challenges, that doesn’t mean the Giving Green spirit is slowing down. 

For Anne Brown, associate vice chancellor for finance, giving back to the community looks like donating time to educate young children. 

Heart Math Tutoring, a Charlotte-based nonprofit, is a math intervention program that recruits, trains and supports volunteer tutors. Their mission is to ensure that all elementary students develop a strong foundation in math and the academic skills needed for long-term success. For the 2019-20 academic year, Heart Math organized one-on-one tutoring for 1,190 students across 23 elementary schools.

Brown began volunteering with Heart Math before the COVID-19 pandemic. She would spend one hour each week at J.W. Grier Academy and tutor two students for 30 minutes each. 

“The curriculum is very easy to follow and there are lots of hands-on manipulatives to help students visualize the lessons,” said Brown. “They also make it fun, like playing a game. Each student has two tutors and they'd work with one tutor on one day and the other tutor later in the week.” 

For every school, there’s a program coordinator to assist tutors if needed and provide feedback. Several tutors worked with their students in the same room, each with one student, so the coordinator could observe. 

However, during the pandemic, Heart Math Tutoring  had to adjust their format, allowing it to fit perfectly with Giving Green’s volunteer-from-home opportunities. The organization has transitioned to online tutoring over the summer and ran a pilot program for the curriculum being used for actual online tutoring sessions. As Heart Math Tutoring and CMS continue to navigate COVID-19, tutoring has already begun for some schools and they aim to start in January at more schools including J.W. Grier where Brown tutors. They are seeking additional volunteers to work in pairs of two to assist students 30 minutes twice a week. Volunteers don’t need to apply in pairs; Heart Math will match tutors after an online training is completed. Brown is anxiously awaiting her next tutoring assignment and hopes others will join her. 

“I'm really looking forward to meeting my students or possibly having one from last year again since she's still in elementary school,” said Brown. “It was extremely rewarding to see my students happy to see me each week, and I'd love to see more UNC Charlotte staff choose to become tutors to provide even more support to kids in our community.”

For more information on how you can become a Heart Math tutor, visit Heart Math’s website for volunteers. For other ways to join Giving Green in the Community, visit the Giving Green website. 

Story by: Jordan Estabrook

Photo: Anne Brown tutoring with a student