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Boosting learning, virtually

Club Z! adapted to recent circumstances to provide a seamless continuation of tutoring services

When students in Lee’s Summit left school for spring break in March, no one knew how quickly things would change and that it would be their last day of in-person classes for the year. With the move to virtual learning, Club Z! was able to quickly shift to online tutoring sessions to help ensure students continued in their academic growth.

“We are always moving and changing to what our clients need,” says co-owner Jayme Richardson.

Club Z! has been offering full-service K-12 tutoring for students in Lee’s Summit—and all over the Kansas City area—for 14 years. Their most frequent request is for math tutoring, and they offer a math prep program each summer to give students a jumpstart on what they will be learning in the fall. Additionally, they offer a popular ACT prep program.

Until recently, these services were exclusively in-person, primarily meeting in the homes of students. This spring when meeting in homes was no longer an option, Club Z! put Kayla Hopkins, one of the tutors, in charge of developing a plan for the business to offer virtual services. Hopkins began to research available platforms and how they work. With Hopkins’ insight and expertise, they were ready to go virtual and continue services after spring break.

“It provides another set of tools in our tool belt for tutors, students and families,” Hopkins says. “It provides a very accessible way for tutors to connect with our families.”

In fact, Hopkins said she was able to set up tutoring sessions the same day during the school closure given the flexibility of virtual options. Through this, they have been able to provide a sense of consistency for students and been able to share their expertise with other educators.

“It’s really been incredible because we’ve ended up being a consultant for so many teachers in school districts that weren’t getting a lot of assistance,” says co-owner Tamla Masters.

Most importantly, Club Z! is seeking to ensure students keep their minds engaged.

“We wanted to send a message that it’s important everyone keeps learning,” Richardson says. “Those kiddos who stay still from March to August are really going to feel it.”

Both of Kim Brummett’s children have worked with Club Z! over the years, and she said she appreciates how it has given them a boost in their academic achievement.

“They have been able to give my kids a better understanding of the concepts they are learning in school,” Brummett says. “They help them stay on track and get them further ahead and understand concepts they are getting ready to work on.”

Brummett’s son Connor will be a senior at Lee’s Summit West and has been working through math with the help of his tutor. He said he was able to FaceTime his tutor frequently and receive answers to all his questions during the school closure. He often works ahead in the school curriculum, so tutoring helps him make sense of concepts that have yet to be explained in class.

“Club Z has helped me tremendously in my academics, giving me a different point of view on learning different topics and overall helping me understand everything more and more every time I have tutoring,” Connor says.

While the philosophy of Club Z! is that students do their best learning in-person, and the company looks forward to resuming such services, Club Z! has been a resource for families during a time when education proved challenging. 

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