Reading Fellows is designed to make school-based tutoring available for children in our communities.
Reading Fellows is a one-on-one, daily, literacy intervention for elementary students and a literacy development program for staff members that embraces paraprofessionals, school aides, family members and other school-based community members as invaluable one-on-one tutors. Students in grades 1-5 who are identified as reading below grade level receive additional support in reading, writing, and speaking from Reading Fellows tutors either in person or via video conferencing, for 30 minutes a day. The tutors build upon the foundational belief that a nurturing relationship with a trusted school-based adult or community member can lead to new levels of student agency and the ability to immediately and seamlessly apply new skills and confidence within the classroom context.
The Teachers College Reading and Writing Project provides coaching to support implementation of this research-based instruction to aid significant acceleration of vulnerable readers’ literacy skills.
Reading Fellows is divided into three levels. Reading Fellows Levels 1 & 2 targets students reading at the primary level. These lessons cover content on phonological and phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, and reading comprehension. Reading Fellows Level 3 targets students who are not yet reading at benchmark grade levels in grades 3-5. In level 3, the lessons also include work on advanced phonological and phonemic awareness and vocabulary.
Reading Fellows relies on a team approach to tutoring. Each school has a designated coordinator who leads the work in order to: identify students for the program, track and support student growth across time, as well as recruit and train tutors. Because Reading Fellows coordinators are the linchpin to the program’s success, each school is required to send a dedicated coordinator to the entire training, with additional sessions dedicated only to the work of coordination.
Reading Fellows is designed to make expertise in literacy instruction a joyful and community-wide experience. The pedagogical skills developed and attained by Reading Fellow tutors help create a sense of shared responsibility and aim to maximize capacity and agency throughout schools.