Reading Partners is a program that partners with school to help improve literacy rates in children at an early age, so they can go further in their education. Reading Partners can be found on two Uplift campuses, Uplift Heights and Uplift Williams which serves more than 60 scholars year round. Only 16% of low-income fourth graders in Texas are proficient readers at their grade level. On average, students in the Reading Partners program double their rate of learning.
Reading Partners’ objective is to get every student individualized reading support to read at their grade level by fourth grade. They recruit volunteers from different backgrounds such as college student to retirees. With proper training and a curriculum to follow, students are empowered and lead by their volunteer tutors. Tutoring sessions are given during school Monday through Friday and after school depending on the campus.
“I think what helps the most is cite words and tutors modeling how to read,” said Shalonda Spears, Reading Partners cite coordinator.
Reading Partners has three reading levels; emerging reader, beginning readers and comprehension readers. Each level contains various steps to allow the scholar to reach their end goal of reading with their age group. By breakdown goals scholars have the opportunity to see their progression as they move one step closer to their reading level.
“I have seen first-hand students who have changed their mindset on reading and are now very excited to read all the time,” said Spears.
With a curriculum based tutoring, volunteers can add their own input in teaching their scholar depending on their needs. With over 1,800 tutoring sessions this school year we can see improvements by at least 20 points per scholar on star testing.
“Our biggest goal was for students to learn to read and to love to read, “said Spears.
This year Reading Partners hosted a book fair for their scholars at Uplift Williams for their end of year tutoring session. Scholars had the opportunity to select 10 books to take home for the summer along with a backpack of goodies. During summer children can experience a back track if they do not continue to exercise their reading skills. The book fair offers fun reading at various grade level for students to enjoy during summer. As a bonus, if the student finishes all books in the summer they can mail in their report to receive a gift for staying on track with their reading level.
Uplift creates great partnerships like Reading Partners who help support our scholars throughout the year. Working with partners that have the same goals and continued support for our scholar creates strong outcomes.