The Indiana Retired Teachers Association today (IRTA) launched a new venture aimed at providing Indiana’s students with a toll-free hotline for one-on-one homework help. The Call & Learn Hotline links K-12 students across the state with volunteers from IRTA, the American Federation of Teachers Indiana, and the Indiana State Teachers Association.
“Our members are proud to help Indiana and our students in this most unusual of times,” said Trish Whitcomb, IRTA Executive Director. “Teachers never stop being teachers, and in an ordinary year our members volunteer more than a million hours for educational causes. This project is exceptional. Not only are we able to help our students learn in this different environment, it is a way for our retired members to stay connected to our communities, while they too shelter at home.”
Statistics show over 60 percent of Indiana’s more than one million public school students have limited or no access to online learning. In addition, those students with digital access may still have the challenge of sharing computers and devices with parents or caregivers now working from home. Looking to provide students with an available and knowledgeable resource, Indiana’s retired teachers created the telephone-based support.
As students and schools alike navigate total at-home learning, the Indiana Department of Education has also created remote learning resources, and along with the Indiana Public Schools Superintendent Association, continue to support partner-based strategies focused on helping students succeed.
“Serving kids and families is what Indiana’s educators do best,” said Indiana State Superintendent Dr. Jennifer McCormick. “I am thankful the Indiana Retired Teachers Association created this initiative and grateful for educators all across this state who, even during these unprecedented times, are wholly dedicated to the success of our students.”
The Call & Learn Hotline is open every weekday from 1:00-5:00 p.m. ET. Students and parents can call toll-free (877) 45-STUDY (877-457-8839) to request assistance from a volunteer educator. After identifying the student’s grade level, middle and high school students are matched to educators with expertise in math, science, language arts and social studies, while elementary students are paired with general education elementary teachers.
In compliance with stay-at-home guidelines, Call & Learn volunteers operate from their homes, and while calls are recorded to protect the students and volunteers, no identifiable personal information is collected, ensuring anonymity for both the child and educator.
Any retired Indiana educator interested in volunteering for the program can contact IRTA at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (888) 454.9333.