New virtual tutor program teaches Bay Area kids reading skills

EMBED </>More Videos

VIDEOS: New virtual tutor program teaches Bay Area kids reading skills (1 of 2)

Bay Area students inspired to read by virtual tutoring program

Pharaoh is just one of 130 student/tutor pairs across 13 classrooms in seven Bay Area schools.

Tutoring young and promising students is nothing new, but a program in the Bay Area is taking one-on-one tutoring to another level.

Surrounded by family in the halls of Oakland's Burckhalter Elementary School, 6-year-old Pharoah Stewart experienced a moment seven months in the making.

Pharaoh and his virtual tutor, Dan Oaks, met for the very first time in real life Monday.

RELATED: Teacher stories that will warm your heart

Until now, their relationship as student and tutor took place over headset and computer.

Pharaoh is just one of 130 student/tutor pairs across 13 classrooms in seven Bay Area schools.

EMBED More News Videos

Tutoring young and promising students is nothing new, but a program in the Bay Area is taking one-on-one tutoring to a new level.



Once a week for 30 minutes, working professionals like Dan, who works for Chase, partner with kids like Pharaoh though the nonprofit Innovations For Learning's Tutormate program.

"When I first met him, I thought he's just my friend, and then when I met with him all the time, he's now my best friend," beams Pharaoh.

The results have been impressive. Pharaoh's mother, Teika Anderson, said her son wasn't always so enthusiastic about reading.

"I did not want him to get settled in on video games and TV. I would express to him the joy of reading once you get into it, but it wasn't coming," Anderson said.
But since November, tutor Dan has seen a remarkable difference.

"He was reading slowly and not fluently in the beginning, and now he's reading stories. I am so proud of him," Dan said.

Pharaoh is now the one encouraging his peers to read.

"I would tell them, reading is so important. You need to read so you can get stronger," exclaimed Pharoah.

Tutormate is currently in 26 major markets across America and just recently launched in the Bay Area. Click here for more information if you're interested in getting your school on board with the program or becoming a corporate partner.

Click here for more stories and videos related to education.
Related Topics:
educationteacherteachersstudentsschoolcomputersOakland
(Copyright ©2018 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.)