Long before the coronavirus pandemic closed schools and businesses, Nina Parrish had the vision to grow her tutoring company by providing individualized academic support to students online. Tutoring in this manner led to two important outcomes: 1) she could grow her business without incurring expensive costs associated with renting new facilities and 2) she could reach more kids at times convenient for their families while removing the burden of commuting to and from sessions. What began in 2010 as an in-person tutoring company based out of her home, steadily grew into a large tutoring center with 20-30 tutors. Nina states that COVID-19 quickly forced “us to grow in the direction we wanted to go.”
Although her company Parrish Learning Zone, based in Fredericksburg, Va., had tried some other programs, only the Trilogy Mentors platform provided the ease of use needed for a transition to online tutoring. For several months, Nina and her team participated in training and trial periods to help their tutors and students adapt. Implementation of any new program works best when simple for all customers, and according to Nina, the Trilogy Mentors platform was “smooth and easy to use” and the customer service was “awesome, responsive, and so helpful on the technical side.” She also pointed out that “This is the advantage of going with a small company.” So, when COVID-19 caused major disruptions in-person learning, Parrish Learning Zone’s tutors and students were already familiar with the functionality of the Trilogy Mentors online platform.
Numerous benefits emerged for Parrish Learning Zone. Initially, Nina had wanted to offer online tutoring because busy parents and the long traffic delays in the area made meeting during business hours impossible for some families. Now, in addition to eliminating the need for travel, online tutoring allows students to learn at times convenient for them. Furthermore, when at home students often feel a sense of comfort and stability, a critically important sentiment in any learning environment, but especially during the crisis caused by the pandemic. Also, Parrish Learning Zone tutors report many students have more focused attention in online sessions, enhancing the learning experience for the children and the value for their parents.
Parrish Learning Zone has always hired expert tutors, and the versatility of the Trilogy Mentors online platform has allowed Nina to retain experienced teachers with families of their own. As Nina explains, “They can meet with their students after putting their own kids to bed.” Therefore, tutors and students now experience the optimum flexibility for learning. The desire to provide as many kids as possible with high quality one-on-one instruction led Nina and her husband Jay, both career teachers, to launch their company. And while many schools and businesses remain closed, Parrish Learning Zone’s students and tutors continue to thrive as a result of Nina’s vision.