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January 13, 2021

The negative impact caused by the closing of schools for young children in K-8 during the COVID-19 pandemic has been timely studied and was found to be more pronounced for students with disadvantaged backgrounds. It also stated that the damage could linger long after this time period.

A Little Joy Initiative has taken the lead early in tutoring the under-resourced K-8 students with “Tutoring to the Rescue” from early April last year. Many generous college students, young professionals and others have been joining the Program and delivering thousands of tutoring hours.

We’re humbled and very thankful for all you have done for the children. Please continue to help!

The following are some links regarding this topic for your reference:

November 8, 2020

We are in the midst of the school year with many young students still studying online without direct teaching and interactions with their peers in the classroom. Through free tutoring online, many volunteer tutors from the “Tutoring to the Rescue” program of A Little Joy have been working with the underserved students to provide some supplemental/remedial help since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our heartfelt thanks to their generosity and commitment in reaching out to help these K-8 students.

In addition to colleges & universities previously acknowledged, the following is THE THIRD HONOR ROLL OF COLLEGES & UNIVERSITIES having Volunteer Tutors for A LITTLE JOY TUTORING. The tutors are graduates or current students from the following colleges/universities and have been volunteering with us since July 2020 (in alphabetical order):

California State University, East Bay

Catholic University of America

Florida State University

Fresno State University

Hampton University

San Diego State University

San Jose State University

University of California, Riverside

University of California, San Francisco

University of California, Santa Barbara

University of Rhode Island

University of San Francisco

University of Texas, Austin

Wake Forest University

The following colleges & universities having more graduates or students recently joined our program (arranged in descending order):

University of California, Davis

Florida Gulf Coast University

Stanford University

University of California, Berkeley

University of Maryland

Emory University

University of Chicago

October 6, 2020


Along with the focus on free virtual tutoring in the U.S. because of the protracted COVID-19 pandemic, A Little Joy Initiative continues with its gift-giving project in Vietnam where we have been involved since 2014.

For the start of a new school year, our associate volunteers have visited the Niem Tin School for the Disabled to bring “a little joy” to the students on September 29 last month. Customarily, we also presented the staff & teachers some gifts to thank them for their selfless dedication in taking care of these students.

Due to travel restrictions, Ann has had to work remotely with Thao Duyen and others in Vietnam to prepare for the visit. She could only send a letter to greet the teachers and students of the school. Our special thanks to our Vietnam team!

Some pictures from this event are now posted!

August 31, 2020




It has been a rough ride for all of us during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic but we are hanging in there, joining together and doing something worthwhile for the K-8 children of underserved families who need a brief hand-holding (virtually, of course)!

The summer has passed and now every school in the country has either started or is ready to start. Many still have to offer classes online. Some provide a hybrid program with limited in-class time and online instruction. Nothing has been easy for administrators, teachers and students with uncertainty and a pending threat of contagion. We understand the challenge and are ready to help.


We are currently contacting school districts and teachers, especially those in the under-resourced areas, to introduce our free one-on-one online tutoring services. For those who have been working with us, we will reach out to you if needs arise. Please help to pass the word about our program. With increasing internet-based teaching at the K-8 level, our free online tutoring service can be a well-suited supplemental program to standard instruction, online or otherwise.

“Tutoring to the Rescue,” a special project of A Little Joy Initiative, has been helping K-8 students since the onset of the pandemic - one student at a time. Our volunteer tutors have been quite enthusiastic, patient, and competent, despite their hard work being done in the quiet quarter of their own homes with no fanfare. We’re humbled to have you join us and hope that you’ll continue to be with us in the new school year ahead.


Our best wishes to you all for a safe, healthy and successful new school year!

JUNE 27, 2020


We are in the midst of Summer 2020 during the unprecedented pandemic that has been severely disrupting almost everything in our lives. Since the beginning of April, A Little Joy Initiative has quickly responded to the needs of young students K-8 who have been deprived of physical attendance in schools with their peers and teachers by launching the free, online, one-on-one tutoring service called Tutoring to the Rescue. The enthusiastic and quick responses from many college students and professionals have made the program a resounding success and enabled A Little Joy tutoring to continue during the summer and beyond.

Please come and join us, together we can make a difference!

The Second Honor Roll of Colleges & Universities having Volunteer Tutors for A LITTLE JOY TUTORING
Our volunteer tutors who are either graduates or current students of the following colleges/universities and have generously signed up with A LITTLE JOY TUTORING since the end of May, 2020 (in alphabetical order):

Adelphi University
Boston College
Binghamton University, SUNY
California State University, Northridge
Easter University
Emory University
Florida Gulf Coast University
Georgia State University
Grand Canyon University
John Hopkins University
Mercer University
Muhlenberg College
Pennsylvania State University
St. Edward’s University
University at Albany, SUNY
University of Arizona
University of California, Davis
University of California, Irvine
University of California, Los Angeles 
University of California, Santa Cruz
University of Chicago
University of Colorado
University of Notre Dame
University of Pennsylvania
University of South Florida
University of Southern California
University of Washington
Virginia Commonwealth University
Washington University in St. Louis
Western Illinois University

In addition to the languages mentioned in the previous Honor Roll, our current tutors can communicate with potential tutees and their parents in Amharic, Cantonese, French, Haitian Creole, Kirundi, Telugu and Tamil if needed.

May 31, 2020

Honor Roll of Colleges & Universities having Volunteer Tutors for A LITTLE JOY TUTORING

Up until now, there have been many wonderful volunteer tutors who are either graduates or current students of the following colleges/universities and have generously signed up with A LITTLE JOY TUTORING since beginning of April, 2020 (in alphabetical order):

Brown University

Columbia University

Depauw University

Duke University

Harvard University

Olin College of Engineering

St. Olaf College

Stanford University

University of California, Berkeley

University of Maryland

University of Minnesota

Vanderbilt University

INSEAD, France

Delhi Technological University, India

Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT), India


Besides English, Spanish, Mandarin, Burmese, Hindi and Vietnamese are also available for communication with students and his/her families if needed. 

May 10, 2020

This weekend, on behalf of A Little Joy Initiative, Ann Nguyen donated some 500 high-quality facemasks, both carbon filter and surgical, to UCSF Benioff Children Hospital in Oakland, CA. For protection against the Covid-19 pandemic, these masks will surely help! OUR SPECIAL THANKS to our generous donors who have made this act of kindness possible!


April 23, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has not just caused tremendous hardships and challenges but also brought out the best in every one of us. Within a few weeks after A Little Joy Initiative launched the Free Online Tutoring Program, the Program has been well received by the public, especially college students volunteering to be tutors and the families with young students in need.

As of today, the Program has 50+ volunteered tutors hailing from many parts of the country. They have been studying at Stanford, Harvard, Duke and other reputed institutions. All have had experience in tutoring or teaching at various levels, from elementary school to college, and are enthusiastic and ready to help!

The tutees have come from both coasts, but still, more are from the Pacific region. We are working hard to bring the Program to the South and other regions of the US.

My heartfelt thanks to the volunteer tutors; without your willingness and generosity, we could not have gone this far in such a very short time! Please continue your support in helping one student at a time. You have truly made a difference!

My sincere thanks to the principals, teachers and leaders of civic organizations, who have selflessly reached out to help students of underserved families in referring our free tutoring program to these students.

Be positive and be safe! We are in this together, and together we are moving forward!

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Read more about our past activities on Facebook!


For reference, information on the coverage of A Little Joy Initiative by the Mercy Project of the Diocese of Oakland is archived in this section.

A Little Joy Initiative was featured in Episode # 7, Corporal Work of Mercy: Clothe the Naked of the Mercy Project Video Series of the Diocese of Oakland for the celebration of the Jubilee Year of Mercy 2016


A Little Joy Initiative was covered by The Catholic Voice of the Diocese of Oakland.

Some photos...


Left to Right: Sister Rosaline, Mr. Carrillo, Mr. Lewis, Mr. Collyer, and Sister Christine! — at Santa Maria Catholic Church.













Preparation for Videotaping the introduction of the work of mercy by A Little Joy Initiative

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Preparing for Video MERCY 1.png
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