Our collaboration with YTL (Youth Transformed for Life) was
initiated through conversations over the past six or seven months
about how to reach more grade school students of color. Making
those connections through the regular school year had its own set
of challenges. Knowing that the impact of COVID left students with
even larger gaps in reading levels, the Literacy Together team
decided to find a way to step up.
We recruited young adults (age 16 to 20) for paid internships to serve
as reading tutors for 46 students in the 8-week YTL summer camp
program. Interns were trained in phonemic awareness and a multisensory
approach to teaching reading and worked one-to-one and
in small groups with the campers. The bond between interns and
campers was instantaneous and the results were encouraging.
The students received pre- and post-tests to measure progress.
Title I Reading Specialists from Asheville City Schools
administered the tests incorporating the same series of tools they
use to measure progress during the school year. Students were
given between 2 to 6 tests each, depending on their grade. Of the
students who completed both the pre-and post-tests, 41 out of 44
(93%) improved their test scores in at least one literacy area.