Fostering Fluency, the TLC reading program for emerging and beginning readers, focuses on children between first and third grade. Reading tutors help children “crack the alphabetic code,” recognize print quickly, gain reading fluency – and grow to love books. Most tutors visit local schools twice a week and work with children in one-on-one sessions; some also work with children on the Tufts campus.
Can college age tutors make a real difference in a child’s reading development? Our research, along with 18 years of Tufts Literacy Corps experience, makes it very clear that the answer is, “absolutely yes!” Every year our pre- and post-tutoring evaluations show that 85% to 92% of the children who work with a TLC reading tutor progress by at least one reading grade level by the end of the 7-month tutoring year.
TLC tutors are most beneficial to children with mild reading delays or who need additional support as they learn basic phonics. They are also a good match for children who are transitioning into English. Reading beautiful picture-story books with an attentive tutor is a terrific way to gain vocabulary knowledge and begin mastering both spoken and written English.
All reading tutors participate in a rigorous training and supervisory program on the Tufts campus, which meets every Wednesday from 12:00 noon to 1:15 pm. Tutors work with their children according to guidelines laid out in the Tufts Literacy Corps reading manual (accessible here).