By Hillary Chang, FCSN Voices Youth Reporter
On August 1, FCSN members gathered on a Sunday evening to celebrate the talents cultivated within the SNTutoring program. FCSN’s first ever SNTutoring Summer End Fun Showcase showcased appreciation to the tutors who regularly met with their students for sessions filled with learning, bonding, and fun. SNTutoring was launched last year, and it has garnered success rapidly, facilitating 322 tutor-student matches and198 active classes. The popularity of the program stems from its impact on tutors and students. Especially during the pandemic, SNTutoring has helped numerous special needs individuals maintain a routine schedule. The program has shaped many tutors to become more compassionate and patient. For many, SNTutoring is not just about tutoring, it’s also about building friendships.
As the summer came to an end, SNTutoring coordinators Linmei Chiao, Mannching Wang, Yvette Ying, and Isabella He decided to host an event to highlight students’ talents, showcase volunteers’ hard work, and most importantly, have fun. Coordinator Linmei Chiao recalled an FCSN talent show she had attended years ago. She was particularly impressed by a duet of a special needs student and her high school volunteer teacher. By accompanying the student, the volunteer was able to help the student play in tune, resulting in one of the most touching performances Chiao had witnessed. The experience inspired Chiao to ideate an event that integrated performances of tutors and students. The SNTutoring coordinators team settled on a showcase consisting of performances of displaying anything of the tutors’ and students’ desire.
The showcase began with a quick speech spotlighting the SNTutoring program, before moving on to the eleven artistic, musical, and creative performances. The night started with a piano duet featuring tutor Kyra Deng and student Jeffrey Lin who blended sweet notes to play Home on the Range (click on the links to view the performance on YouTube). Then, tutor Katherine Liu and student Daniel Huang displayed artwork they had drawn throughout the year. Tutor Doris Wang and student Andrew Young sang along to the lovely tone of Through the Rain. Similarly, tutor Andrew Sun and student Tiger Zhang harmoniously played the Lullaby and Edelweiss on their recorders. Tutor Himani Mishra helped student Andrew Chiang present his imaginativeness through creative story writing prompts. Tutor Doris Wang and student Lauri vocalized Nanzihan (男子漢) in Chinese. Tutor Joyce Lui and student Warren Li captured their enjoyment of singing together with a lip dub. Art partners, tutor Jackie Li and student Lianne Tamin, demonstrated several art pieces they had drawn throughout their year together. Tutor Hsi-Er Liu guided student Isaac Luo to parody the Curious George Theme Song. Tutor Riley Kong exhibited Student Ansley Tran’s piano piece: La Chevaleresque. Tutor Anika Pai showed student Victor Gan’s singing of Only Human by Nick Jonas. Finally, to conclude, guest performers Andrew Quach sang Shanghai Beach (上海灘 ) in Chinese and Chiling Wu composed his own version of “Mojito” by Jay Chou with the violin and the piano.
As the showcase came to an end, viewers voted on their top 3 performances: Jackie Li and Lianne Tamin’s artwork, Joyce Lui and Warren Li’s lip dub, and Anika Pai and Victor Gan’s singing. Each winning tutor was awarded a $25 prize and winning students received a trophy as a token of the organizers’ appreciation. Thanks to the hosts, no one left empty-handed: all performers left with a participation certificate and a sense of pride, and viewers left with an opportunity to see many inspirational performances.
Joyce Lui and Warren Li singing a lip dub
FCSN thanks all who participated in the event: SNTutoring coordinators who took care of the logistics, flyers, signups, notifications, arrangement, Zoom setup, and prizes, the amazing tutors who took the time to get parents’ permissions and plan out, practice, record, and edit their performances, students who put in their all to give an amazing performance, and the audience who decided to join in on the summer fun and show support for the community.
After witnessing piano duets, art work, singing performances (in various languages), creative writing pieces, lip dubs, parodies, and more, the coordinators are excited to host another showcase in the near future. Currently, they are striving to improve the SNTutoring program by encouraging tutors to become more involved with sharing tips and resources, hosting tutor check-in meetings, and improving the automation database. Experienced tutors are working on peer mentoring and preparing training videos for new tutors to ease the process of joining the program. As they aim to improve the program, FCSN encourages those involved in the program to continue with the work, and urges aspiring volunteers to join the family.
Testimonial from Doris Wang, a participating tutor in the SNTutoring End Fun Showcase:
“I was [tutoring] Andrew Young and Laurie Chu. I [submitted] videos [to the SNTutoring End Fun Showcase] just because I would like to show you they are excellent students: working hard, focused [during the] whole class, always making the best whatever I ask them to try. You will agree with me when you’ve watched the videos.”