Facing COVID-19, Growing With Grace Tutoring Adapts To New Reality

Published by Ariel Pacheco on

Facing COVID-19, Growing With Grace Tutoring Adapts To New Reality

With schools being shut down since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Growing With Grace Tutoring has provided students with supplemental learning many students have needed. 

“For a lot of kids school was a safe space,” said Elesha Grace. “This is challenging for them. I felt like the business was something we could do to still reach children and make a difference.”

Elesha Grace, along with her husband Donovan, are the owners of Growing With Grace Tutoring. They have been tutoring kids ranging from grades K-12 in reading and math for a few years now. 

Donovan and Elesha Grace of Growing With Grace Tutoring. Photo courtesy of the Grace family.

Before COVID-19, the Grace family would meet with students in group classes. The global health crisis shifted the learning to a virtual setting, which now allows them to tutor students outside of Georgia in a more individual setting.

“Now that we have private tutoring, we are able to go one-on-one with kids that need help,” said Donovan. 

Donovan and Elesha Grace are the only employees at Growing With Grace Tutoring. Donovan, who works professionally as a sourcing manager, focuses on math subjects. Elesha, a former teacher, focuses on reading subjects. They wanted to create an environment where students felt learning was fun and engaging. 

The business idea was fueled in large part due to Elesha’s time as a teacher. Elesha says that her experience as a teacher showed her that a lot of kids do get left behind and the nature of standardized tests is a driving factor. 

She felt like she wasn’t doing enough as a teacher.

“A lot of my stories from the classroom encouraged me to start the business because I saw a genuine need,” said Elesha. “I wanted to do more.” 

Donovan shares that sentiment. He says they try and focus on Black kids, but they welcome everyone.

“It’s rewarding to see improvement in the kids. It’s a way that I can bond with them.”

Being in both a marriage and working together as business partners, the Grace family faces a unique dynamic. In order to maintain both a successful business and domestic partnership, they have made sure to keep one relationship out of the other.  

“We established what our business hours should be and after a certain time, it’s time for just us,” said Donovan. 

“It’s like you wear two different hats,” said Elesha.

Donovan says that since the beginning of the outbreak, business has gone down. He says that unemployment has led to faithful clients dropping out of the program. The bulk of their students are in grades K-5. 

“It’s been going downhill,” said Donovan. “We’ve been trying to figure it out and see what we can do.” 

Donovan advises other small business owners to make themselves adaptable. “Things can happen at any time. Be ready to adapt at all costs.”

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Ariel Pacheco

Ariel Pacheco

Ariel Pacheco is a graduate student at the Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY in New York City. He has a Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and loves to read and write. Sports and gaming are his two biggest passions. He hopes to be able to travel across America covering a variety of topics ranging from sports to politics.

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