LT students create online tutoring site

Charlotte McLaughlin , Art Director

Due to the inconsistency and uncertainty in the education system during COVID-19, many students have found themselves struggling with school. It is even harder for students whose families can’t afford tutors or extra materials to help them succeed. LT Tutors founder Emmett James ‘22 wanted to help fill those educational and financial gaps and provide free tutoring to everyone, he said. 

The families who can pay for tutors and have time to help their kids will succeed, but there are so many that can’t,” James said. “Our education institutions have been crippled, and I feel that something has to supplement our current education situation.”

They have two different models of tutoring as of right now: the Help Desk model and Classic model. In the Help Desk model, students can drop into a Zoom meeting where tutors are waiting to answer quick questions from students in grades 1-8 at LT feeder schools. 

The Help Desk is open from 3 to 8 p.m. every school day. In the Classic model, students schedule a time and are set up with a tutor for a longer session. Parents can sign up at All of their sessions are over Zoom and free of charge, James said. 

“It definitely feels cool to know that your efforts are significant and that you’re helping someone out on the individual level,” James said. “But I think it feels even cooler to know that your efforts are in some little way solving a huge problem on the macro level.”

Not only does it help the students with their learning during this pandemic, but it betters the tutors as well, tutor Tyler Vizgirda ‘22 said. 

I feel that tutoring develops useful skills through communication and teaching others in a cohesive format,” Vizgirda said. “It helps me construct and improve teaching others. After I tutor someone, I feel accomplished. Just being able to help out in any way I can makes times like this less troublesome.”

One of the students Vizgirda helped was a seventh grader at Park Junior High, Clare Byrne. She needed help with a math problem, and her parents contacted LT Tutors.

“I had a quick math problem I was confused about,” Byrne said. “[Tyler] just ran me through the problem. It was really quick, and he was really nice. It was great. I think it’s super kind of them to do this.”

As a long-term goal, James hopes to expand LT Tutors outside the district and reach out to schools in the city, or surrounding suburbs, he said.

“I think it’d be cool to get to a level where I can automate some processes, make everything super efficient, and have this mega free tutoring company,” James said. “Ideally, in the super long term, we [will become] a national operation and hopefully mend some of the inequality in education. I really believe that by equalizing education, we can fix so many more issues indirectly.”

For now, James and his team are working on finding more student tutors to help make their system more manageable, he said.

I feel it helps the student to know that it’s okay to not have the answer to everything,” Vizgirda said. “If they do need help, they can turn to us tutors for whatever questions they have, whether it’s just a quick five-minute discussion or a 30-minute lesson.”