Back to School with Tutoring Chicago: Tutoring Tips



Connecting Communities | September 2022 

Tutoring Chicago has been a strong partner with Marillac St. Vincent Family Services at the St. Vincent de Paul Center in Lincoln Park for 15 years by providing tutoring services for school-aged kids.

Tutoring Chicago is a local nonprofit organization that believes students facing economic barriers can access brighter futures through one-to-one relationships with supportive volunteer tutors. Their volunteers are mostly young professionals who focus on general tutoring needs two nights a week beginning each September. Tutors are paired with one to two students to work with for the full school year. Currently, there are approximately 70 kids in the MSV program who are supported by these tutors. 

As students across Chicago return to school for the first time this year, Tutoring Chicago is gearing up for the 2022-23 tutoring season. In celebration of the new academic term, Tutoring Chicago has compiled this list of tips for a successful tutoring experience for teachers, volunteers, and parents.

  • Establish goals. What does your student want to explore, improve, and learn this year?
  • Keep the momentum going. Did your student meet or exceed a goal last year? Keep them interested in continuing their exploration of that topic. 

  • Carve out time. Designate a specific time each week to work with your student toward achieving their goals. 

  • Make a plan. Write down an agenda with your student, along with an estimated amount of time needed for each task. Check off the work as it’s completed. You can even display an online timer for each section of the agenda to stay on track.

  • Be positive. Acknowledging your student’s full effort or excellence in a subject they struggle with can encourage them to continue facing up to challenges.

  • Take a break. Plan a break in the session specifically to offer support to the student. This gives them something to look forward to, especially if the break is a fun game or favorite activity.

  • Talk to your student. Have casual conversations with your student about their classes, teachers, and friends. Relationship-building is important in developing a student’s confidence and social awareness.

  • Creatively connect with curriculum. Find creative ways to connect the student’s required curriculum with their personality. For example, are they stumped on a math problem, but you know they love music? Use musical examples to help them make connections with their math lesson.

  • Check in regularly. Don’t be afraid to ask what your student needs from you. 

Tutoring Chicago offers both virtual and in-person tutoring sessions (including on site at St. Vincent de Paul) at no cost to students. Student enrollment is now open, and sessions begin the week of September 19. For ongoing strategies and support throughout the school year, sign your student up for one-to-one tutoring through Tutoring Chicago.


For more information about Tutoring Chicago, visit

Interested to learn about Youth Services at Marillac St. Vincent?

Learn more about ways to donatevolunteer or work at MSV. 

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  • Foglia Family & Youth Center
    2859 W. Jackson Blvd. Chicago, IL 60612
  • Marillac Social Center
    212 S. Francisco Ave. Chicago, IL 60612
  • St. Vincent de Paul Center
    2145 N. Halsted St. Chicago, IL 60614