FLI and America Reads Tutoring areworking together to help children become skilled readers. The partnership started a few years ago when American Reads tutors from the University of Michigan’s Ginsberg Center were assigned to FLI’s summer literacy program. During the 2018-2019 school year, thirty U-Mstudents are participating in FLI programs.
America Reads is a federal work-study program established in 1997 to train University of Michigan students as reading tutors. Now as part of the partnership, FLI staff provides training and placement for the America Reads tutors. They tutor in the network of elementary schools and community centers where FLI provides tutoring services.
Raven Jones, program manager for America Reads states, “We work with Sharine Buddin [FLI Executive Director] to make sure our students are grounded in the mission of FLI and understand how FLI works with the community.”
Ms. Jones notes that the U-M tutors are highly motivated. Some have become involved after seeing their own family members struggle with reading. Others are concerned about inequities in education and view poor reading scores as a social justice issue. Several past America Reads tutors have joined FLI’s tutoring corps.
The America Reads U-M tutors have monthly sessions based on Michigan Literacy Essentials and participate in an FLI orientation. Ms.Jones explains that educators throughout the state of Michigan recommend classroom practices to boost students’ reading skills. Literacy Essential topics include motivation, engagement, vocabulary building, and strategies to improve comprehension.
Raven Jones adds, “We are grateful for the partnership with FLI. Everyone at the Ginsberg center is passionate about working to make a difference in the lives of children in Washtenaw County.”