Reading to learn with Page Turners literacy tutoring
Thursday, December 13, 2018
Ryan Combs, Page Turners tutor and 6th Grade Teacher at Highlands, tutoring DJ, a current 2nd grader at Boys & Girls Club of Highlands Elementary.
Contributors: Amanda Chavez, Marketing and Communications Coordinator at Boys & Girls Clubs of the Fox Valley and Brittany Drews, Boys & Girls Club of Highlands Elementary
In fall 2018, the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Fox Valley received $75,000 in grant funding from United Way Fox Cities to expand their Page Turners Literacy Tutoring Program. The funding will be distributed over a two-year period.
Learning to read is a skill: the ability to access, comprehend, and apply written instructions is essential to functioning effectively in an information-based society. Third grade is a critical benchmark when students shift from learning to read to reading to learn.
Third grade students who lack reading competency are more likely to struggle academically and have behavioral and social problems in subsequent grades. These students are six times more likely to leave school without a diploma than their reading proficient peers.
Unfortunately, significant disparities exist in Grade 3 reading proficiency based on the economic status of the child’s household. During the 2016-17 school year in the Appleton Area School District, 54.6% of non-economically disadvantaged students exhibited reading proficiency, while only 25.2% of economically disadvantaged students exhibited proficiency on the Forward Exam.
An alarming 75% of economically disadvantaged kindergarten through third grade (K-3) students in Appleton are below proficiency in English & Language Arts.
Page Turners, an early literacy tutoring program, is an effort to address this need by providing additional individualized reading instruction to K-3 grade economically disadvantaged students who attend after-school programs of the Boys & Girls Clubs at five elementary schools—Badger, Columbus, Foster, Highlands, and Little Chute Elementary.
At each school at least 25 students participate in two to three, 30-minute, one-on-one literacy tutoring sessions per week with either a trained volunteer or a professional teacher/reading specialist hired through the school or Life Tools Foundation. Instructional contexts were developed in partnership with AASD’s Literacy Coach, Julie Schwartzbauer. Activities are intended to augment rather than replace similar efforts offered within each school.
During the pilot year in 2017-18, all 57 students who scored less than 100% during their initial assessment improved their scores, with 35 students (61%) reaching skill mastery by the end of the school year. With the support of United Way, we’ve expanded the program to serve at least 125 students in 2018-19.
Page Turners, is offered in partnership with Life Tools Foundation, Inc., Appleton Area School District, and Little Chute Area School District. For more information about Page Turners and Boys & Girls Clubs of the Fox Valley visit: www.bgclubfoxvalley.org