EHS Backpack Tutors take a step back from tutoring in Minneapolis

Eva Hadjiyanis, copy editor

In the past, Edina High School Backpack Tutors program bussed students to the Minneapolis’ Folwell School for hands-on tutoring with younger kids. However, after budget cuts and decreased demand for tutors, the program has decided to shift to a more local, service-oriented approach.

This year, around 60 backpack tutors carpool from EHS to elementary schools each week to help out at Kids Club. Although there is less one on one tutoring, Backpack Tutors are staying close to their core values.

“We are in a way moving away from the tutoring aspect and going more towards the mentoring side of Backpack Tutors,” senior Jake Straub said.

This change, while caused by money and transportation issues, is adding much needed personnel to help the afterschool programs. The altered start and end times of the schools have caused more elementary school students to enroll in afterschool programs. Now with a staff shortage, the tutors will go a long way in providing personal care to all Kids Club students. “We pretty much are mentors for the kids. We help them out in any way they can,” junior Isabel Melton said.

Backpack Tutors hope to return to tutoring kids in Minneapolis eventually but are taking this school year’s change in stride. “Next year we are going to be trying to get back into the Minneapolis school system because they do need a lot of help, but I think [the way we are doing] this year is a fresh thing to do,” Melton said.

“It’s about giving back to the local community, Melton added.”