Giving Compass' Take:

· Writing for Education Dive, Jenny Inman, dean of students at Garton Elementary, explains how her schools have trained volunteers to support teachers' instructions and improve students' literacy outcome. 

· This type of initiative may be a way for donors to get involved in their local schools beyond funding.

· Here's more on how volunteer reading tutors are boosting students' literacy skills

We have a very diverse student body with a wide range of academic needs and strengths. Wanting to “fill a gap” in our students’ literacy proficiency — without taking additional time away from instruction to assess individual students — we started looking for a solution to streamline and improve our current instruction and assessment processes.

We found what we were looking for in the Lexia Reading Core5 literacy program and implemented the solution in the fall of 2015 for grades K–5. Initially, we didn’t require all of our teachers to use the program as we wanted them to find a personal value in the program, not view it as just another mandate. For those teachers who decided to jump in and begin the implementation, the expectation was that they use it with fidelity to see how it supported their students’ literacy growth and development (with students meeting their recommended minutes and teachers logging in at least once a week to review the student performance data).

We initially built implementation around our early adopters who found immediate value in how the personalized student instruction was delivered and the progress monitoring data was provided without having to administer a test. We then built out our district-wide implementation from there.

Read the full article about using volunteers to improve students' literacy outcome by Jenny Inman at Education Dive.