Tutoring in action

Quinn Garrett, one of our Connected Literacy tutors, worked with a first-grade student (we’ll call him J) who initially came to sessions unable to easily understand words, get frustrated, and breakdown in tears. “I can’t read! I can’t read!” he often said. Quinn taught him how to break words down into digestible pieces, first sounding out the letters and then turning them into blocks of sounds.

Throughout their sessions, J steadily grew in these basic skills, and his reading began to improve. He stopped getting overwhelmed and found he was actually enjoying himself. By semester’s end, J was reading with much more fluency and had gained confidence in his ability to read. He even told Quinn that he was excited to go home and read to his mom to show her how much his reading improved. J’s story is one of hundreds that PENCIL is proud to share from our work collaborating with MNPS through high-impact tutoring. (To this day, J still tells that he loves reading.)

All  the Connected Literacy tutors are trained in strategies to give our youngest readers-to-be the skills they need to help them approach words and sentences they don’t know. They know that not every day is a “breakthrough day,” where a child suddenly learns something new that they didn’t know before. In addition to teaching the fundamentals of reading, our tutors provide much more. The benefits from the small-group, personalized attention also give students positive, adult interaction on a consistent basis, builds their confidence overall, and gives them something to look forward to every week.