Online Tutoring Will Help Adelyn and Enrique to Read At Grade Level
By Eric Steckel | March 25, 2021
When shelter in place was ordered and schools closed in March of 2020, distance learning swept into schools across the country. It has been a challenge to completely transform to online instruction, while simultaneously teaching the children. Over time, the teachers who dedicate themselves to our kids have gotten better at distance learning, but there are still challenges.
Children Rising recently launched Succeeding by Reading Anywhere at La Escuelita Elementary School in Oakland. Ms. Debra*, a second-grade teacher, shared that it has been harder to get to know her students this year “…because it’s all online. I’ve only met them in person a couple of times.” She also pointed out that it is harder than ever to find one-on-one time with students.
“Sometimes they just need that little bit of extra watering so they can flower and bloom.” — Ms. Debra
Adelyn* and Enrique* are cousins who are both in Ms. Debra’s class. The two bright, eager children were recently paired with a trained, one-on-one reading tutor. “I can tell they are both very bright,” Ms. Debra said. “Sometimes they just need that little bit of extra watering so they can flower and bloom.”
While it is too early to measure tangible results, our conversations with Ms. Debra, as well as Adelyn and Enrique’s family and tutors, give us confidence that online tutoring will play a role in getting kids to read at grade level, now and in the future. Having seen the impact of one-on-one tutoring over the past several years, Ms. Debra is confident that “…they will come back to the classroom with more confidence in their skills.”
Adelyn is an active seven-year-old girl who loves to learn new things. “But right now she’s struggling with distance learning because it’s hard for her to focus at home.” explained her mother, Brenda. “She gets a little distracted when her teacher is teaching, she starts spacing out.”
Adelyn began working with Mr. George, a seasoned reading tutor, two weeks ago. “She was shy at first, which was no surprise as we are not together in person. But at the end of the first session she warmed up.” said Mr. George.
Full of youthful energy, Adelyn is often a blur of motion on the screen during her tutoring sessions. However, she was dialed in to Mr. George, followed along with the online reading games, and even smiled and patted herself on the back when told that she had done well on a difficult exercise. “That was the first time I encouraged a child to pat themselves on the back,” he explained. “It seemed like a good way to get her engaged.” And it worked.
Adelyn’s mother is thankful for the extra attention. She shared that it has been difficult for Adelyn to complete all her homework assignments. “If she has any questions, she won’t come to me for help. I hope that she’s more open and confident with her tutor.” This has been a familiar concern and one that our online program capability can address. Students in need of additional homework support can get extra time with their tutors outside of the classroom time.
Enrique is a sensitive, caring little boy who absolutely loves playing video games. Although he claims to “love distance learning”, he gets extremely distracted by the video screen and tempted to play games. Like all of the other children in the program, Enrique currently reads substantially below grade level. His Aunt Brenda hopes that through working one on one with his tutor Miss Marge, he will be able to catch up to his peers in reading.
“He’s not reading much,” Aunt Brenda shared. “When he’s at the computer, he would rather be playing video games.”
With the support and encouragement of a one-on-one tutor, Enrique engages and willingly participates in every task asked of him,” Miss Marge reports. “Each week, he seems to breeze through something that was giving him trouble the week before.”
Getting a child’s attention and encouraging them to try and learn new things “…is a difference-maker,” Aunt Brenda told me. “Ms. Debra has limited time, and extra one-on-one time is going to really help Enrique catch up.”
Work to be done
Eager young readers like Adelyn and Enrique have missed a significant amount of time in class. Through Succeeding by Reading Anywhere’s online tutoring, you are helping them to catch up on missed opportunities. We look forward to following their progress and sharing that with you in the months to come.
* Names changed to protect the identity of the students
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