tutors give youngsters
grade boost in reading scores
Ind. (Feb. 9, 2004) - Elementary school students from around the area
are getting a boost in their reading skills from Manchester College's
Indiana Reading Corps. The program, in its seventh year at the college,
matches elementary school pupils one-on-one with Manchester College
student tutors. This year, more than 110 Manchester students are
tutoring more than 120 children in four elementary schools in three
The results are
remarkable: Almost all students tutored gained at least one grade level
in their reading skills, and some bounded up two grades.
Participating schools are Manchester Elementary School, Sharpe Creek
Elementary School in Wabash, Akron Elementary School and Eisenhower
Elementary School in Warsaw.
"I'm very pleased with the
program," said Brett Boggs,
Akron Elementary School principal. "We've had
at least 20 students each semester who have had reading coaches and some
semesters more than that. It's been very beneficial to us."
The college's Reading
Corps expanded this year to provide tutoring at Learn More Center in
North Manchester - for the center and for an after school daycare at the
center. The tutors also work with
First Brethren Church in Roann and the
college is hoping to expand into more schools, said Carole Miller,
Manchester College Reading Corps coordinator.
Thirty more tutors await
placement for a total of 150
Manchester College students working with
Indiana Reading Corps as reading coaches. "This is the highest number of
student reading tutors we've ever had," said Stuart D. Jones, director
of Career Services. "This is great; it means we can make an even bigger
impact on community children."
Participating students in
grades 1-5 meet with their reading coaches for a minimum of two
half-hour sessions each week.
Manchester College tutors are paired with
their young pupils based on schedules, specific requests from teachers,
and availability to travel.
The Indiana Reading Corps, an AmeriCorps
program of Indiana Campus Compact, responds to former
President Clinton's America Reads Challenge that children should read
well and independently by the end of third grade.
All of the Manchester College tutors are
trained by the
tutoring model, which is designed to improve students' reading
comprehension, class participation and perceptions of themselves as
readers. Tutors use children's books and create lesson plans to ensure
the children comprehend the material.
To record children's
progress, a Basic Reading Inventory test is conducted at the beginning
of the year, mid-way through the year and again at the end of the
coaching year. Last year's scores revealed that 90 percent of the
elementary students increased at least one reading level after
tutoring. No child regressed or lost reading ability and some students
improved two reading levels, Jones said
improvements in student achievement are difficult to attach to any one
specific reason," Principal Boggs said. "Indiana Reading Corps is one of
several interventions we have in place for our kids. We really are
focused in trying to improve our reading skills and we're seeing gradual
provides a liberal arts education to 1,170 students from 29 states and
33 countries. Located in North Manchester, Ind., it is a Church of the
Brethren college with a mission statement that emphasizes service to
others and responsible citizenship.