Like a lot of eighth graders, Roslyn Middle School student Jacob Gross found himself battling boredom as his family’s pandemic-induced social distancing began to stretch on from days to weeks. Luckily for Gross, he had some skills he could put to use besides his ability to watch Netflix, mainly a talent for math and a desire to do good for his community.
“I wanted to have something to do during the day other than just sitting around,” Gross said. “I love math, so I thought I could help other kids and kids my age.”
For about a month now, Gross has been helping a number of students in grades K-8 hone their mathematics skills through an online-based tutoring platform he created called Tutor For A Cause. For $30 an hour (with lower rates for lower amounts of time) K-8 students can book Gross to help them with whatever math topics they’re struggling to master. Gross creates individualized learning packets for each of his students, and supplements their lessons with videos and assignments off of Khan Academy, the online math learning website that gave him the inspiration to put the Tutor For A Cause site together.
“He never formalized any sort of tutoring business before this, but he really enjoys it and he really takes it seriously,” Jacob’s mother Danielle Gross said. “He really devotes a lot of his time, he takes three to four hours a day where he could do anything else and devotes it to this. He makes packets that he customizes based on what the parents tell him to do, and he annotates them and makes it fun. He really has a heart of gold.”
Even with all the effort Gross has put into his newfound tutoring business, which he said has brought in about 10 children who are regulars of his at this point, he hasn’t taken a single cent for himself. Instead, Gross is donating all proceeds from Tutor For A Cause to Northwell Health to aid the organization in its work to help treat those stricken with COVID-19. The satisfaction of knowing he’s made a positive difference is compensation enough for the young man.
“It feels very good because I know I’m helping people,” Gross said. “It sorts of helps everybody because maybe we’ll be able to go back to school and not social distance anymore.”
Since the website went live about a month ago, Gross has raised more than $1,300 for Northwell’s facilities throughout the area.
Anybody looking for a math tutor can visit www.tutorforacause.com to see about booking Gross, who plans to continue tutoring through the summer, to help their K-8 student. Anybody looking to help out can also visit www.northwellcovid.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.participant&participantID=17963 to donate directly to his fund for Northwell Health.