Retired teacher starts tutoring business during COVID-19 pandemic, assists with online learning

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WHITE BLUFF, Tenn. (WKRN) — A former Dickson County school teacher is coming out of retirement to help tutor students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Leslie Simms taught at White Bluff Elementary for sixteen years before retiring last winter. When coronavirus hit, she knew it was the perfect opportunity to get back into some sort of classroom.

Simms recalls watching the news and asking herself what parents would do if their child was required to learn remotely from a computer eight hours a day.

“I feel like kindergarteners through fifth graders really need that hands-on instruction with the teacher, not the virtual world,” Simms said.

So she renovated a century-old building, bought some school supplies, and opened the Sunshine Learning Center on Highway 70 in White Bluff.

Five days a week Sims is offering one-on-one tutoring for elementary-age students struggling with online learning and the other learning challenges brought on by COVID-19.

“They’ll each get their own little box of supplies so they can stay clean,” Simms said.

Desks are socially distant, plexiglass is in place, and temperatures are taken at the door. Simm’s says it’s her small way of making things easier for her community during a season of stress.

“This is my hometown, this is my community,” Simms said. “I’m doing what I love.”

Simms told News 2 that Dickson County Schools also donated some desks to help her get started.

If you’re interested in a tutoring session, you can contact Simms at (615) 797-1568. Or e-mail her at sunshineinthebluff@gmail.com

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