Open Library, a peer tutoring club established by students at Valencia High School, provides a place for students to gather and receive extra academic help from both teachers and fellow classmates.
Students are invited to come to the library every Wednesday and Thursday, excluding minimum days, for an hour and a half after school to receive help in any subject, including Spanish, Calculus and even physics. There, they can receive one-on-one tutoring from students who excel in the subjects.
This method of tutoring can be beneficial by helping students learn from their peers using familiar terms and vocabulary. Rather than having the lesson repeated to them by a teacher or a confusing textbook, the words of fellow students can help them grasp concepts more easily.
“I went in to get extra help for chemistry and one of the tutors took me to a private table and went over the entire chapter with me,” says Christina Lee, a sophomore at Valencia High. “It was really helpful. The way she explained it made so much more sense than how my teacher did.”
Any student can sign up to be a peer tutor as long as they have As in the subjects they would like to teach. They are given an hour and a half of community service for each session they attend. In addition to the tutors, teachers offer both extra help and extra credit to students who attend. Mr. P. Harrison, an English teacher, offers helpful critique on essays while Mr. M. McKee, a history teacher, provides rigorous study sessions for students struggling in his class.
“It’s really rewarding being able to help people,” says Nick Jang, the president of Open Library and a fellow peer tutor. “All of us have been in the same situation of not being able to understand a concept, and it’s incredibly frustrating. Honestly, the hours we spend here don’t seem that long because it’s so fun. It’s worth it to be able to see that look of understanding on someone’s face, and knowing you were part of that.”