Superstorm Directory Connects Students, Education Providers

Displaced students can receive help academically despite school closings.

by / November 28, 2012 0
Anton Oparin / Scenes of superstorm Sandy's aftermath in the Breezy Point part of Far Rockaway on November 9, 2012 in the Queens borough of New York City.

Students affected by superstorm Sandy now have a place to go for tutoring, college application help, and SAT and ACT test prep.

Noodle, a New York City company that connects learners with learning resources, created an Emergency Education Directory to serve these students. The directory lists education companies that are willing to donate their time to teach and tutor students. So far, 11 companies are listed, including ApplyWise, Tutors on Wheels and Middlebury Interactive Languages. Families can contact these companies directly to receive services.

The Education Industry Association is working with Noodle to mobilize education companies and get the word out to local emergency response offices, disaster relief organizations and different jurisdictions.

These services include assisting students who were studying for their SAT or ACT exams, but haven't been able to access material. Another service is tutoring to keep students' brains fresh and active. And services are also available to help students with their college applications. 

Many school districts have been sending workbooks and assignments for students to do so they won't fall too far behind. And tutors and educators who respond to family requests make use of these materials whenever they can, said Steven Pines, executive director of the Education Industry Association.

"We hope this will lessen the suffering, and provide families with a little bit of backstop academically," Pines said.

While the storm made landfall on Oct. 29, it caused so much damage that many schools in New York and New Jersey are still closed a month later. And because many families have been relocated to higher ground with relatives, they don't have access to their neighborhood schools.

Students from damaged schools are doubled or tripled up in open schools, said Richard Katzman, a lifetime New Yorker and executive director of learning content for Noodle. Many had their homes destroyed and lack power or the right resources.

"A lot of the educational companies and resources expressed a desire to help, so we're trying to create something that's simple," Katzman said. "If there are students who can use these services, that would be great."

Tanya Roscorla Former Managing Editor

Tanya Roscorla covered ed tech from 2009-2017.