Youth Literacy improves the academic achievement of children and teens from low-income families who struggle with literacy skills. The project trains tutors who provide free, one-on-one instruction in reading, writing, and spelling. This program serves approximately 50 students per year and has a 100% success rate.
“It almost brought us to tears to watch one student sitting on the edge of his seat, fully engrossed in the task at hand. It was like you could see the light bulbs going off in his head. You could almost read his thoughts, ‘I’m reading! I’m reading! I can do this!’” – Julie Thomas, former volunteer tutor
Tutoring takes place 2-3 times each week at the child’s school during the school day. Alternate tutoring sites may include after school programs. Lessons last approximately 50 minutes each.
Youth Literacy tutors receive 40 hours of training in research-based reading instruction, which incorporates phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, comprehension, spelling & written expression. The training is Orton-Gillingham based, emphasizing the importance of direct instruction, engaging all the senses in learning, and presenting information in a structured, sequential format targeting the student’s individual needs. Wilson Reading System® materials guide the lesson planning process.
Becoming a Volunteer Tutor
Referring a Student
Referral sources include: parents, guardians, teachers, school counselors, EC teachers, and psychologists. To receive services, a student must qualify for free or reduced lunches through the schools, be in 1st-12th grade, and perform below grade level in reading, writing or spelling. Students do not need an IEP to qualify for a tutor. The director maintains a waiting list of eligible students. If you would like to recommend a student for services, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (828) 254-3442 x202. Click here for referral form. Click here for Spanish version.