ALEXANDRIA, VA – Since 1997 the Alexandria Tutoring Consortium (ATC) has partnered with Alexandria City Public Schools to help kindergarten and first grade students learn to read.
In a press release sent out earlier today, the nonprofit organization that pairs each student with a tutor through their Book Buddies program, wrote that students are behind in their skills because of the pandemic. The release mentions a University of Virginia study that found:
1) More than a third of K-2 students in Virginia failed to meet the benchmark on fall literacy screenings.
2) The pandemic especially hurt the progress of economically-disadvantaged students.
“Before the pandemic, approximately 15% of Alexandria’s kindergarten and first graders qualified as potential Book Buddies, but this fall, over 23% met our criteria for tutoring support,” said Lisa Jacobs, ATC’s Executive Director.
Book Buddies has proven effective because it focuses on skills – backed by science – found to be essential when learning to read, like learning about letters and how they sound, as well as word patterns within text. Last year 87% of children taking part were reading at grade level even though school took place virtually.
“Teachers are asking us to tutor more students,” Jacobs said. “We’ve got the expertise to help these kids; we just need more volunteers and more funding to scoop up as many struggling readers as we can.”
ATC has a goal of raising $50,000 on April 27 – Spring2ACTion’s Giving Day. The amount will help the organization extend tutoring through the summer and fall.
Interested in donating or tutoring? Visit alexandriatutors.org.