Available to Every Student, La Salle Welcomes Its Updated Peer Tutoring Program


Ashley Hawkins

“I think everybody needs support,” Ms. Woodworth said. “Everybody needs help; you don’t come into any education experience knowing everything.”

Hannah Whiteside, Staff Reporter

This year, La Salle has an updated peer tutoring program where students can receive help from classmates and teachers, placing an emphasis on making academic assistance available and normalizing the need for it.  

The new program was created by Ms. Shannon Woodworth, La Salle’s Academic Support Specialist, and it was built off of the pre-existing program that was organized through the National Honors Society (NHS). “There was already a really awesome pool of students who are tutors and that already know how to do it and already know a lot about their subjects,” Ms. Woodworth said. 

Ms. Woodworth arrived at the La Salle community a year ago from another Catholic school in California, where she ran a peer tutoring program that “always felt thriving and always felt full of energy and people helping each other and I love that,” she said. 

The program was adjusted by Ms. Woodworth to make it more accessible for every student. “With the way it was set up, it was one-on-one setting appointments, before and after school, but now it’s really designed to be an open space [where] people can come anytime before and after school, and it’s just more accessible,” Ms. Woodworth said. 

With this objective, students are invited to come and receive help from tutors and teachers or just for a quiet place to study. And, while previously only students in the NHS could become tutors, the positions are now open to any students who feel capable to tutor in subjects they are proficient in.

Senior Raphael De Leon, who was part of the original tutoring program through the NHS, has continued to help fellow students this year. Tutoring mainly in chemistry, but also helping with English and math, De Leon expressed that the best thing about the program is its capability to be accessible to students in need of more immediate help. “It’s helpful to be able to have the opportunity to show up and get help before the next class or before a test,” he said.

After being recommended by his German teacher, Mr. David Lane, sophomore Oliver Moudry now helps other students to understand the language. Believing that not enough people are utilizing the program, Moudry explained that he’s seen real growth in those who do and that “people who go to peer tutoring are getting a lot of the stuff they need to really improve on those skills and the subjects they need help with,” he said. 

While Ms. Woodworth feels the program has been a great resource for people who need help and has been useful for many students around campus, she also recognizes that students may be reluctant to make use of the program out of shame. “I hear students say that they don’t want to come because it’s embarrassing,” she said. “They don’t want to be told that they don’t know what to do and they don’t get it when their friend does.”

Ms. Woodworth’s goal is to improve the program turnout by breaking down that stigma. “I want to make sure that everyone knows that we all have questions, and we all need help sometimes,” she said. 

Peer tutoring is held in the library on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday mornings and every day after school except Friday.

Correction: Jan. 5, 2023

A previous version of this article said that peer tutoring is held on Wednesday mornings when it is not.