School of Education and America Reads partnership benefits local elementary school children

The partnership was launched in 2015, and pairs Elon students with elementary school teachers and afterschool programs. 

This spring, Elon students will again be working to help students in the surrounding community with their literacy and mathematics skills through the America Reads initiative.

In 2015, America Reads launched a new partnership with the School of Education. America Reads is a national initiative established in 1996, in which college students are paired with elementary school teachers and afterschool program educators to assist with academic development in the areas of literacy and mathematics.

Elon’s America Reads program is led by student coordinators Shannon Rush and Elena Goldman and has forty tutors paired with five elementary schools and five after school programs throughout the area. According to Goldman and Rush, all tutors are paired with an individual student, work with small groups of students, or directly with the teacher.

A partnership with the School of Education provides a unique training program for tutors, in order to ensure they are prepared for work with elementary school students. During the training workshops, education faculty and staff members work with tutors on a wide range of topics, such as literacy strategies, math techniques, and behavior approaches.

This spring, Scott Morrison will focus on behavior management, Lesley Henry will discuss reading and motivation, and Allison Bryan will provide an overview of educational tools available to the tutors in the Curriculum Resources Center. In addition, Burlington mayor and Elon alumnus Ian Baltutis will facilitate a discussion on poverty and its impact in the classroom.

Department of Education Chair Marna Winter states that the most important result of the partnership is Elon’s students being “authentically effective in the community, since tutors are prepared and not going in blindly.” Thus, the training sessions prepare America Reads tutors to positively impact the community, and make a difference in the lives of the elementary school children.