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Updated: Apr 7, 2021

Merritt Richmond and Roseanne Barry

As we shifted from in-person to remote learning early on during the pandemic, we realized that many Compass kids will fall behind academically due to the immense obstacles they face, such as lack of access to technology and resources, a stable and safe space to focus on school work, and the daily stressors of isolation during a public health crisis.

In addition to working tirelessly to provide families with laptops, tablets and headsets so that kids will have the tools they need to participate in distance learning, Compass also started a new virtual tutoring initiative in August 2020 called Homework Helpers where we connect volunteer tutors with Compass kids in need to extra academic support. Since then, we have matched over 36 Compass kids with Homework Helper tutors, along with local academic organizations, like 826 Valencia and Pandemic Professors to provide additional tutoring support, especially for monolingual Spanish speaking students.

We would not be able to provide this essential tutoring support for Compass kids through our Homework Helpers Initiative without support from our amazing volunteers, Merritt Richmond and Roseanne Barry. Merritt is a Professional Development Lead for teachers and wanted to get involved as soon as the pandemic impacted our families and Roseanne has been a long time Compass supporter and has been volunteering at Compass since 2019.

In collaboration, Merritt and Roseanne created a trauma-informed curriculum and every Tuesday afternoon, the two welcome and train prospective tutors as part of Compass’ Homework Helpers Initiative. They provide numerous resources to ensure that our volunteer tutors are well equipped to meet the needs of Compass kids, both academically and emotionally.

Additionally, they created beautiful Homework Helpers Student Toolkits with thoughtfully curated supplies unique to each Compass child, to enhance their virtual learning experience.

Homework Helpers Student Toolkit

Merritt and Roseanne also provide additional volunteer support for other Compass initiatives, in addition to their wonderful work through our Homework Helpers program. Merritt helps with managing our community resources and the creation of custom boxes of donated items, including clothing and housewares for client families, as well as all of her other volunteer efforts to support our Annual Fund, Back to School distribution and Adopt-a-Family. And Roseanne is also helping out with data entry and providing additional support to our busy administrative team.

Roseanne and Merritt are amazing volunteers who go above and beyond to support Compass children and parents, especially during this challenging time. We are so grateful to have them as part of our Compass family. Thank you so much for all that you do to help our families reach stability and wellbeing.

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