Outreach

Become a Virtual Literacy Tutor

CURRENT

Read Charlotte calculates that about 20%-25% of CMS third graders learn how to sound out individual words (phonics) but don’t read with enough speed or accuracy (fluency) to build their vocabulary or understand what they are reading. We can help more Charlotte-Mecklenburg third graders become proficient readers with a targeted focus on reading fluency. If you'd like to make a significant impact on a child's life, virtual literacy tutoring might be for you!

What is expected of volunteers?

  • Volunteers commit to serve for 1 hour per week with the same two students throughout the school year. Many of our tutors return several years in a row.
  • We ask that if tutors have to be absent for a week, they contact us in as much advance as possible so we can find a replacement for their students.
  • We also expect tutors to behave appropriately and professionally with students, including in a virtual setting.

How does this work virtually? Are materials provided?  

  • Students and tutors receive a Zoom link to “meet” for their one-on-one tutoring session. The tutor will have some physical materials which we provide, as well as virtual materials which we go through in depth at the training. The tutor facilitates the session with the student, and the student reads the passages from the tutor’s screen. The implementation per student lasts anywhere from 20-30 minutes for a new tutor and often less for more seasoned tutors.
  • Tutors must have access to internet and a computer/desktop/laptop to participate. iPads/tablets do not offer functionality high enough for virtual tutoring.

What is expected other than 1 hour per week?

  • Tutors must submit and pass a CMS Background check (at no cost to the volunteer, just a quick submission on www.cmsvolunteers.com)
  • New tutors also complete a 3.5 hours virtual training to learn how to implement the program
  • Tutors create an account on Volunteer Matrix (https://helps.volunteermatrix.com) to provide contact information and virtual availability

Helping Early Literacy With Practice Strategies (HELPS) is an evidence-based program proven to improve children’s reading fluency. The highly structured HELPS program can easily be used by any trained volunteer.

Virtual tutoring is happening now and will continue even as students begin to return physically to their school's campus.

For more information, connect with Cheryl Brooks.

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