Reading Fellows: An Institute to Launch and Establish a One-on-One Reading Tutoring Program in Your District or School

Wednesday, September 30, to Friday, October 2, 2020;
Continued Support and Learning:
Friday, December 4, 2020
Friday, March 5, 2021
Institute will be offered virtually through Zoom.

Grade: 1-5
Featuring: Colleen Cruz, Jepilyn Matthis, and Amy Fabry
Payment: Purchase orders for this institute can be made out to: Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, 525 W 120th Street, Box 77, New York, NY 10027

We can only accept individual applications, but you must have 3 people from your school-based team each individually apply - one who will act as coordinator and tutor and at least two lead tutors who will help to train other tutors.

While the need to support students for whom reading is challenging has always been a necessary focus in schools, after the recent and ongoing disruptions students are experiencing due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, there is an even greater sense of urgency. However, the reality is that when teachers are stretched thin, it is difficult to imagine school-wide solutions that are practical and affordable to help students make rapid progress in reading. It is time to revisit the body of compelling research that points again and again to the powerful effects of tutoring on dramatically improving educational outcomes (such as the Bloom ’two-sigma’ effect, 1984). And when paired with high quality, engaging, whole group instruction, it can have even more power (Inns, Pelligrini, Slavin. 2019).

Invite the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project to partner with you in launching a one-on-one tutoring model in your school!

Based on this knowledge-based, and our past success with one-on-one tutoring, Reading Fellows is a one-on-one, daily, literacy intervention for elementary students and a staff development program for staff members, that galvanizes paraprofessionals and other school-based community members as invaluable one-on-one tutors. Tutors could be paraprofessionals, former teachers, future teachers, grandparents, college students, an older sibling - the list is endless because the key to Reading Fellows working is the one-on-one structure, not the reading expertise of the tutor.

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 are led and supported by one coordinator. The coordinator works closely with the tutor and classroom teacher to monitor the growth of the child. The coordinator might be an instructional coach, administrator, or an individual in the school community with knowledge of reading development. By tapping into the community, we believe Reading Fellows has the power to create school-wide systemic change.

During this institute, TCRWP provides a three day cycle of consecutive professional development to implement this research-based instruction to aid in the significant acceleration of vulnerable readers’ literacy skills with two additional days given later in the school year to further support your team as the year unfolds.

This institute will introduce one coordinator and up to two tutors per school to Reading Fellows, as well as the materials and know-how to turnkey what is learned. This institute aims to make your team confident in implementing Reading Fellows in your school community and familiar with the newly developed Reading Fellows materials and structure of the program. There are three levels for coordinators and tutors to learn about - Reading Fellows Levels 1 & 2 cover students reading at the primary level; Reading Fellows Level 3 covers students reading at the early chapter book level and above. Across the three days of the institute, we will spend time unpacking the handbook, session guides, and toolkits. Participants will learn information about assessments, phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, and reading comprehension included in the materials. We will also share how you might select students to participate in the program and make recommendations for how you might go about selecting and preparing tutors in your community. Time will also be spent on how Reading Fellows was designed to be implemented in-person or virtually, and ways it can fit the range of learning structures your school may have during the 2020-2021 school year and in the future.

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 and their home communities.*

What’s Included:

  • Training for three people per school-based team for all three days of the September 30-October 2nd Institute (please note: cost is per person, not per team). In order to ensure the greatest possible success, only schools with one designated coordinator and two tutors can be accepted.
  • Two follow up sessions for the same team members who attended the original 3-day institute:
    • Friday, December 4
    • Friday, March 5
  • A handbook, including session guides, assessments, and additional materials
  • A pre-recorded course will be made available via Teachable for your school-based Reading Fellows tutors not attending the institute and follow-up days. We are making this recorded course available to ensure your team will have as much support as possible to make sure Reading Fellows is as successful as possible


$850/person ($2550/ three person school-based team)


This institute will be offered online, in real-time via Zoom, and will not be recorded for later distribution. We will accept attendees until the institute has reached capacity.