Elementary after-school tutoring closes literacy gaps

after-school tutoring

Literacy is key for student success at all levels, in school and in the world. To help ensure our students are receiving the reading support they need, Madison North and South Elementary Schools are now offering after-school tutoring for students Grades K-5 with a focus specifically on literacy. This is possible through the American Rescue Plan Funds, which are intended to facilitate gap-closing for students as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 


This tutoring program is after-school for 90 minutes on Tuesdays and Thursdays from February 14 through March 23, with a sign-up period prior to the start of the program. This year, 163 students are participating between North Elementary and South Elementary. After sign-ups were complete, data was collected from district assessments to plan for individualized support for students involved. 


There are two main areas of reading that are being focused on in our tutoring time: word recognition and language comprehension. The simple view of reading states that we need both areas to work together in order to comprehend what we are reading, and the interventions that are being utilized in the after-school program focus on these two areas by skill sets. Some of the interventions focus on word attack skills by using explicit instruction of the phonics code, spelling practice, and building reading fluency. The second area of focus is on comprehension; the interventions for this area focus on vocabulary building, building background and literacy knowledge, and explicit instruction in sentence grammar and written expression.


Madison’s tutoring program has been in place for a number of years. In the past, Title I funds were used to provide extra support for struggling students; more recently, funds were focused on grade three in response to the Third Grade Reading Guarantee, which works to ensure students are reading at grade-level prior to moving on to the fourth grade. With inconsistent student experiences due to COVID-19, there was a need to expand the tutoring program to include students in grades K-5 in order to address learning loss.   


“The goal is to create a fun learning environment in which we focus on the joy of reading while also targeting specific needs,” says David Bull, Assistant Superintendent. 


MLS is looking forward to seeing the progress made by our students involved in this program. 


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