February 7, 2016

Horizon offers students extra tutoring before classes start

By Shannon Gilchrist, Hillard Northwest News, originally published 

Horizon fourth-grade teacher Stephanie Force helps Justin Flemming with his math during the school's Power Hour on Jan. 5. The before-school individualized reading and math instruction runs Mondays through Thursdays. Photo by Tom Dodge/The Columbus Dispatch

Horizon fourth-grade teacher Stephanie Force helps Justin Flemming with his math during the school’s Power Hour on Jan. 5. The before-school individualized reading and math instruction runs Mondays through Thursdays. Photo by Tom Dodge/The Columbus Dispatch

Hilliard teacher Tami Remington wrote on a strip of paper: “I like to play with my friends.”

As Remington cut apart the words, Horizon Elementary first-graders Megan Taylor and Kamree Boulware read them aloud. Their teacher then jumbled the scraps on the desk. The two girls worked together to reassemble the sentence, giggling as they went.

This all happened Tuesday, Jan. 5, before the sun rose, before the school-zone lights began flashing out on Renner Road, before their classmates showed up for the day.

Hilliard’s Horizon Elementary School calls it the Power Hour: before-school individualized reading and math instruction Monday through Thursday for students who can use the extra help. Many are in small groups, while a few get one-on-one attention. Of the students invited to participate, about 95 percent accepted, said Holly Meister, coordinator of the Power Hour.

School buses pick up about 50 students and bring them to Horizon at 7:30 a.m., more than an hour before school starts. The children learn for an hour from their classroom teachers, and then the school feeds them breakfast. The program, including transportation, is funded through a U.S. Department of Education 21st Century Learning grant. This is the second year of the $200,000, three-year grant. It helps schools to expand academics beyond regular school hours for students and their families, and to give the youngsters enrichment opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise have.

To read more click here.

Filed under: Academic Learning Centers,K-8

November 8, 2015

Tutoring changes the brain in kids with math learning disabilities

By Erin Digitale, Scope/Stanford Medicine, originally published on 10/1/15

One-on-one-tutoring-199x300A new Stanford study, publishing today in Nature Communications, sheds light on how to help children with math learning disabilities. One-on-one cognitive tutoring improves math performance in these children and also normalizes brain activity in several regions important for numerical problem solving, the research found.

The findings are important because math learning disabilities often fall off educators’ and parents’ radar. (Everyone has heard of dyslexia, but its numerical equivalent, dyscalculia? Not so much.) Yet math learning disabilities can hamper a child’s ability to gain basic life skills such as managing time and money, and can prevent children from growing up to pursue math- and science-related careers.

The new study is similar to another recent experiment that demonstrated alleviation of math anxiety with tutoring. Both studies are the work of the Stanford MathBrain Project, directed by Vinod Menon, PhD. Teresa Iuculano, PhD, a postdoctoral scholar working with Menon, is the new study’s lead author.

To read more, click here.

Filed under: K-8,Research

February 24, 2015

Struggling students helped by tutoring grant

By Ellen Ciurczak, Staff Writer, The Hattiesburg American

Lamar County School District students who have not had the benefit of intensive tutoring are getting one-on-one and small group instruction thanks to a grant from the Mississippi Department of Education. The 21st Century grant is for five years, with $500,000 allocated for the first year.

“The criteria for a student to qualify is getting a minimal or basic on the MCT2 or Subject Area Test or be in the lower 25 percent in grades 6-12 or be a Subject Area Test retester or meet one or more of those criteria,” Sumrall High School Principal Sheila Kribbs said.

This is the first time students at Sumrall High and Sumrall Middle School have had the opportunity to be tutored because the schools do not get Title 1 money due to their small low-income populations. “This is a new opportunity for us,” Sumrall Middle School Principal Jamie Jones said. “We’re really excited about it.”

Tutoring is offered both during the school day and after school by certified teachers. Partnership with the YMCA provides staff to offer homework assistance, character education and recreation.

Click here to read more.

Filed under: Academic Learning Centers,Funding,High School,K-8

February 16, 2015

Six districts to receive after-school program grants

By Sarah Hofius Hall, The Scranton Times-Tribune

Six area school districts will share nearly $1.2 million to offer after-school programs during the next three years. The federal 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant, which was sought by the Northeastern Educational Intermediate Unit, will fund programs at the Blue Ridge, Forest City Regional, Mid Valley, Mountain View, Riverside and Scranton school districts. “We’re excited about it,” said Clarence Lamanna, Ed.D., NEIU executive director.

The NEIU will receive $397,050 a year, which is expected to continue for three years. Each school designs its own program that provides academic, artistic and cultural enrichment opportunities for students in fifth through eighth grades. Statewide, $23.1 million in federal funding was awarded to 64 school districts and community-based organizations in 29 counties for the first year of the grant. The goal of the program is to provide students in high-poverty, low-performing schools with additional high-quality academic opportunities.

At Mid Valley, the grant funds the after-school program, which not only provides sixth- through eighth-grade students with homework help, but also with a variety of enrichment and recreational activities. Mid Valley was one of three area districts to receive the grant during the last cycle. Up to 45 students can enroll in Mid Valley’s program, which is for three hours after school Monday through Thursday. After receiving academic help, students participate in activities like book club, science club or BMX bike club, which integrates a math curriculum.

Click here to read more.

Filed under: Academic Learning Centers,Funding,K-8

January 7, 2015

Older adults to tutor struggling students

By Caitlin McGlade, The Republic

Photo: Emmanuel Lozano/The Republic

This school season brought the first day of school for an unusual crowd: adults 50 and older. About 70 of them are hitting the books at 10 Phoenix elementary schools to help bring first-, second- and third-graders up to speed in reading. Organizers hope to expand the program to 20 more schools by 2020.

The volunteers are part of a nationwide AARP program that sends trained tutors to inner-city schools to help struggling kids catch up to their grade level. More than 1,730 tutors serve about 27,100 students in 21 other cities across the country.

Locally, schools in Tempe have hosted the program since 2006 and have seen success. During the 2012 to 2013 school year, 60 percent of the students who rated below grade level at the year’s onset had improved by the end of the year, according to AARP.

“It’s an encore in their lives … to give back. The tutors had butterflies in their stomachs as if they were going to school for the first time like a child would have,” said Mary Bowden, a site coordinator for the program.

Leaders said the project, called Experience Corps, helps fulfill the initiative called Read On Phoenix that helps third-graders achieve proficiency. The state requires that third-graders meet their grade level before moving to the fourth grade.

To read more click here.

Filed under: Academic Learning Centers,K-8

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