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July 30, 2015
Colorado Reading Corps, funded through a state grant from Serve Colorado, is a nationally replicated model that utilizes AmeriCorps Members trained in early intervention literacy strategiesto provide one-on-one tutoring to kindergarten through third grade students who are not reading at grade level.
Before Artie entered the program, his teachers flagged him as a potential candidate because they could tell he was struggling and falling behind. With this knowledge, the Colorado Reading Corps internal coach at Lincoln Elementary had Artie do a benchmark test to determine where he stands compared to his peers. On his initial test, Artie scored a 47, which is 16 points lower than where he should have been for his age. Because of this, Artie was slated to join the program.
Artie proceeded to spend 20 minutes a day for 14 weeks with his Colorado Reading Corps Tutor, Dustin Fontera. During this time, Mr. Fontera used different interventions to help Artie, including Duet Reading where Artie and Mr. Fontera alternate reading every other word to increase fluency. By the end of the 14 weeks, Artie had more than doubled his assessment score with a new score of 110, allowing him to graduate from the program.
Since graduating from Colorado Reading Corps, Artie has developed an interest in reading outside of school, especially chapter books on adventure. Artie stated that his favorite aspect about the program was “spending time with [his] favorite person,” indicating Mr. Fontera. When there are over 300 students in a school with limited teachers and other adults, it can be difficult for students to receive one-on-one encouragement in their school work. That's why the Colorado Reading Corps tutors have such an impact on the kids.
Colorado Reading Corps has made a lasting impact on Artie beyond just improving his reading ability. Artie also gained a mentor, confidence, and the opportunity for a successful future. “You think that they're just learning to read, but they're setting themselves up for success in the future, and they deserve that,” said Fontera.
Copyright 2015 United Way of Larimer County