Turning D.C. s struggling readers into top-notch tutors

Jan 22, 2013
As part of Scholastic’s global literacy campaign,Read Every Day. Lead a Better Life., we’ve identified organizations that work every day to see that children learn to read, love to read, and have access to books. We call them“Literacy Champions”andwe want to acknowledge their hard work here on the blog in ourLiteracy Champions series. In the District of Columbia, only 15% of public school students can read on grade level when they enter 9th grade. This crisis has roots in the city’s elementary school classrooms where the majority of students do not learn critical reading skills. Since 2010, Reach Incorporated has been showing that these struggling readers – often seen as problems – can be part of the solution. Reach Incorporated develops confident grade-level readers and capable leaders by training teens to teach younger students, creating academic benefit for all involved. Using a unique, multi-directional intervention, Reach hires struggling high school students as elementary school tutors. Seen as assets, sometimes for the first time, these high school tutors build foundational academic skills, serve as role models for younger students, and provide targeted instruction for elementary school students in need of extra support. Providing academic remediation in a stigma-free environment, and distributing hundreds of books for enjoyment during school breaks, Reach Incorporated has facilitated tutor GPA improvement of up to 125%. Our partner elementary school teachers report that our students also demonstrate reading growth outpacing their non-participating peers. Program impact has also been seen on school attendance, academic engagement, and school retention. Trusted with responsibility for their students’ success, Reach tutors realize their potential as learners, leaders, and role models, all while they and their students experience significant – and sometimes dramatic – improvement in reading. Learn more atwww.reachincorporated.org. Anyone who helps a child to read is a Literacy Champion in our book, and we invite you tojoin our growing listof people committed to supporting childhood literacy. You can also support a LiteracyChampion near you—browsea full liston our Read Every Day Lead a Better Life. site.