(Kaitlyn and Kshirin of Stittsville founded their business, Flying Colours Teaching & Arts, during a pandemic and use their tutoring and teaching skills to support and assist local students. Photos: submitted)
Kshirin and Kaitlyn of Stittsville knew that during the pandemic there was a greater need for tutoring and teaching for their fellow peers. After volunteering with a few students last fall teaching piano and French lessons, these two grade 10 students combined their volunteer experience with the need for academic assistance in our community. Knowing that support and resources were necessary for all students struggling with online learning in the community, this inspired Kshirin and Kaitlyn to create a more widespread enterprise to connect more tutors to the youth in our community. They called their new enterprise Flying Colours Teaching & Arts.
In January, 2021, the pair began teaching piano and art virtually and provided tutoring in French, Science, English and Math subjects. Kshirin and Kaitlyn told Stittsville Central, “we learned the fundamentals to business management along the way. The pandemic motivated us to continue our work and grow to the business we are today.”
Flying Colours currently provides over 25 sessions per week and now employs three people. “As grade 10 students, we feel inspired to share our knowledge and experiences with students who are taking the same path, as well as young musicians and artists. To honour our goal of creating a widespread community of available teachers/tutors and resources, we also donate 5% of all our earnings to an education-focused charity. For the 2020-21 school year, our chosen charity was a girl’s education charity through UNICEF, where we donated more than $150. For the upcoming school year, we hope to be able to give more, with an entire year’s worth of donations,” the girls told us.
Since forming Flying Colours, they have had to adapt some activities and have created a tight-knit network of students, parents, tutors and teachers. Weekly sessions have been added, such as story time and organized virtual events, including a June piano concert and organized summer camps. Their goal for the upcoming year is to add more teachers and tutors to their roster, allowing them to be able to help more elementary and middle school students with their studies.
On average, Kaitlyn and Kshirin spend 15 hours per week teaching their students, but spend at least twice that length of time preparing the lesson plans! Both teach the same subjects typically seen in school such as Math, French and English, but also offer a variety of other classes that are tailored to each girl’s individual talents and passions.
Kaitlyn told us, “I teach our visual arts and story time programs, along with teaching French to the younger students.” Kshirin shared, “I focus on the musical aspect of the lessons and I concentrate on helping the middle school students with their homework and tests, as well as more advanced concepts.” They also match the students’ needs with their own experiences.
“We are so honoured to have the opportunity to give back to our community. We are inspired by all of the teachers and role models who continue to encourage and educate youth, especially during the ongoing pandemic,” was a sentiment shared by both Kshirin and Kaitlyn.
Kaitlyn and Kshirin look forward to continuing their entrepreneurial adventure! They plan to establish a non-profit branch of their business in the fall. They also have plans to connect with students who lack access to supplementary education and with high school students who want to complete their volunteer hours by sharing their knowledge with the youth in our community.
The entrepreneurial spirit to form a business that assists and supports students during a pandemic, will take Kaitlyn and Kshirin far! These young women are an inspiration for all and we wish them every success.