Mid-Year AmeriCorps Tutoring Update

This school year has been different in many ways, but what hasn’t changed is that Literacy Lab’s AmeriCorps tutors are connecting directly with students to provide individualized literacy support. Each day, nearly 300 AmeriCorps tutors log into their virtual tutoring spaces or don their PPE to lead students in duet reading, sing the alphabet song, or dive into an engaging read-aloud. To date, tutors have provided live intervention to nearly 3,000 students across all Literacy Lab regions. 

This unusual school year means it is essential that we provide students with the best possible support so they are able to achieve grade-level reading rather than falling further behind due to COVID-related learning loss. To that end, Literacy Lab tutors continue to collect data on how many students they’re reaching and how those students are growing. Literacy Lab coaches still observe tutors in action to make sure they maintain close fidelity to the proven intervention model, even with adaptations for virtual instruction. 

Literacy Lab Coach on Zoom screen with tutors in training
Training looked different this year for our coaches, tutors, and fellows.

At this time every year, our organization takes a step back to make sure what we’re doing is working for our students. So far, we are excited to see some truly amazing things happening with our virtual and hybrid tutoring, particularly in a year when experts predicted that students would show very little growth: 

  1. Students are engaging with and receiving 85% of the tutoring they would have in a typical year. 
  2. A significant number of our students are demonstrating measurable progress.
  3. Tutors are continuing to implement the program with very high fidelity – 95%.

The switch to digital instruction has also led to challenges for our programs this year. We faced some initial delays in getting direct tutoring up and running this fall. As schools and families pivoted to virtual and hybrid learning, connecting students to the materials and resources they needed took significant time. Another challenge of virtual and hybrid instruction has been student attendance; it is difficult for many students to access virtual classrooms, some do not attend school daily, and a handful have not attended at all. 

Tutors did not let these challenges dampen their enthusiasm, using the time to engage in professional development and create resources for students and their families. We are so proud of how our tutors have showed up for children and their communities each and every day. The progress Literacy Lab students are making is a testament to the hard work of our incredible tutors, staff, and coaches. 

For more details, check out this Mid-Year data report.