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The deadline to apply for a new statewide program, the Tennessee Tutoring Corps, is Friday, May 29.

Former Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and his wife Crissy announced the launch of the program — designed to help elementary school students who are at risk of falling behind in studies due to the COVID-19 pandemic — earlier this month.

The Bill and Crissy Haslam Foundation has partnered with Boys & Girls Clubs and other youth-focused Tennessee organizations in the effort. The program will run from June to August, with the goal of recruiting at least 1,000 college students to serve as tutors for grade school students.

Qualified tutors must be current college students and must pass a background check. Preference will be given to applicants who have a 3.0 GPA or higher, have at least completed their freshman year, and are Tennessee residents, according to a press release. The deadline to apply is 11:59 a.m. on Friday.

Tutors will receive a stipend of up to $1,000 for their work through the duration of the summer program.

At least 18 Boys & Girls Clubs organizations across the state will join with locally-run, youth-serving nonprofits in several counties to help facilitate the program.

Recent national research suggests that the pandemic will significantly worsen the "summer slide" and potentially lead to learning loss affecting students nationwide.

Estimates suggest students could return in the fall retaining only 70 percent of typical learning gains in reading and less than 50 percent of usual learning gains in math. In some grades, students could be nearly a full year behind, according to a press release.

"The 'summer slide' is a very real problem each year, and, with students being out of school for so long because of the coronavirus, this year could be more of a summer avalanche," Bill Haslam said in a statement earlier this month. "We know that younger students and low-income students are especially vulnerable to summer learning loss, and we want to help address the problem."

Individuals interested in learning more or applying for the Tennessee Tutoring Corps can visit www.tntutoringcorps.org.

Contact Meghan Mangrum at mmangrum@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6592. Follow her on Twitter @memangrum.

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