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Frequently Asked Questions - Teachers

If I have students to recommend, how do I get them enrolled in the Village?

Often, teachers are the first ones to notice their students’ reading struggles. If you have students you would like to recommend to the Village for tutoring, please feel free to contact:
Dr. Jean Rattigan-Rohr, Director
It Takes a Village Project
217 East Davis Street
Burlington, NC, 27216

If I know the particular area of my students’ reading weakness, can I send details of that information to the Village tutors?

Yes, you can. In fact, teachers often do. We have had several parents bring their children to the Village with the children’s progress reports in hand. Parents will sometimes say, “Her teacher says she needs to practice working on reading fluency.” When we have specific information from classroom teachers, it serves as an additional bit of information we use to help our students and parents. Also, accessing knowledge of a student's reading need is the tutor’s number one priority. So, contacting a tutor or sending extra materials to help with school struggles is strongly encouraged.

Will the tutors be willing to work closely with the students’ classroom teachers?

This question is somewhat similar to the preceding one. We will most certainly work closely with classroom teachers. We believe that there is tremendous benefit to the student if there is congruence between their tutoring activities and the classroom instruction. We strongly support this kind of wrap-around support for our struggling readers. In the past, we have seen the most growth in our readers when their classroom teacher, Village tutors and parents are working together to support their literacy development.

Is it possible to share resources, we with you and you with us?

Yes, it is possible to share resources. Preservice teachers develop activities and strategies for tutees and parents to take home and practice. We will be able to put some of those resources online so others can have access to those activities. We will also appreciate any activities and strategies classroom teachers have developed that they find to be useful to their readers. With permission from the teachers who created the activities, we will also put those learning tools on the Village website for all to share and use.

How do the tutoring sessions work?

In the first session, the tutors will assess your student. They will use this information to create lessons that are at your students’ reading levels. The activities can range from letter/sound recognition, to phonics, to reading comprehension.

Does the Village work with just one school?

The Village tutoring is free and open to all students who are struggling with reading. However, individual Village sites operate somewhat independently with respect to the development of their partnerships. At the Elon Village site, our students come from a cross-section of schools from the Alamance-Burlington and surrounding school districts. So the answer to that for us at Elon is no. We do not specifically work with just one school. However, other Village sites sometimes work with particular schools. The Village site at Concordia University in Portland, Oregon works exclusively with Faubion School.

What types of students are you looking for?

The Village is a unique environment in which one-on-one attention is directly targeted to the student's need. Students who are in the program need extra help to stay on grade level or may be considerably behind in what is expected of a typical grade-level student.

What is the learning environment at the Village?

Each student will work individually with a tutor and his/her parent. The tutor will spend time getting to know the student academically but also personally so that the activities are tailored for not only the student's needs but also the student's interests. The parental involvement aspect of the tutoring lesson is essential. The parent will also learn the games and activities which are being covered during the tutoring time, and therefore should be able to help the child while they are at home. We have seen that strong parental support during tutoring creates opportunities for students to feel empowered to achieve their goals while they are participating in the Village tutoring program.

Who are the tutors?

The tutors are predominantly senior teacher education students who have a strong knowledge of literacy concepts and researched based strategies. Tutors may also be classroom teachers, professors and other college students with an interest in literacy development.

What if the family does not speak English?

Several of our students are fluent in Spanish, and at Elon, we sometimes rely on the services of the El Centro, Elon’s Spanish Language Resource Center. More important, however, The Village recently hired a Spanish translator who has been able to explain strategies and activities to Spanish-speaking parents to keep them informed and connected.

Tutors also take into consideration the fact that family members may not be able to read or write in English. If this is the case, activities are assigned in such a way as to allow parents to still be able to participate and play a role in encouraging the students to strive for success.