Massachusetts Reading Corps
The Massachusetts Reading Corps, a replication of the Minnesota Reading Corps model, places AmeriCorps literacy tutors in public and private PreK classrooms in Springfield, Mass., where they implement whole-group, small-group, and one-on-one literacy interventions targeting the “Big 5” language and literacy skill areas: oral language, vocabulary and meaning, concepts about books and print, phonological awareness, and alphabetic principle. Using research-based assessments, literacy tutors collect data on children’s literacy skills and use it to make informed decisions about the types of literacy support each child and each classroom needs.
So what exactly is a literacy tutor?
Literacy tutors receive rigorous, ongoing training focused not only on literacy instruction and assessment but also on providing socially, emotionally, and developmentally appropriate support to children ages three to five. They are trained to interact with children in a positive, sensitive, and encouraging way that allows them to develop confidence in themselves and their abilities. Tutors also receive support from an on-site internal literacy coach, a master literacy coach, and the AmeriCorps program staff members, all of whom provide member development and ensure fidelity to the Reading Corps model.
Children need to be successful readers, and by focusing on the emergent literacy skills, providing rigorous training and ongoing coaching, and ensuring that the literacy tutors are sensitive to the developmental and emotional needs of children, the Massachusetts Reading Corps is able to help all children enter kindergarten ready to learn how to read.