Tulsa's Reading Partners program plans to work with 175 more students this year than last. They'll work in 24 schools, limited only by available volunteers.
Reading Partners is expanding and looking for more help. They work with 75 students at Key Elementary, where the principal says it works.
A new class started this week at Key Elementary, for adults who signed up to be Reading Partners.
“Our mission is to help children become lifelong readers,” the trainer told his class.
The training lasts 90 minutes - teaching volunteer tutors how to help children read.
"This curriculum takes a tutor through step by step what they should do in each lesson; it even breaks it down into what they should say to teach a student that concept," said Elizabeth Brands Vereecke with Reading Partners.
The tutors work with students like these 2nd graders.
For teachers like Kelley Carney, the time for individual instruction is limited - so it's mainly small groups or the whole class.
Tutors with Reading Partners pull out individual students for two hours each week.
Key Elementary principal, Doug Howard, said, "The best thing about Reading Partners, I see, is that positive interaction between an adult and the student, one on one, and the relationship that develops as that adult works with that child throughout the year."
Howard said the program is well worth the cost - $17,000 for 75 students at his school.
The new class of tutors starts next week, with children up to two years behind in their reading, and the expectation they'll make as much progress as last year.
Vereecke said, "With Reading Partners, and the work their great and dedicated teachers do in the schools every day, 90 percent of them had mastered foundational literacy skills that put them on track to be at grade level."
There is still time to sign up for Reading Partners, go through the training and get started this school year. You can find more information here.