Summer Schools of Hope work to Eliminate “summer slide” in reading proficiency for fourth graders

A Schools of Hope tutor spends time helping students with craft projects

By Jackie Allen

United Way and the Madison Metropolitan School District kicked off the first Schools of Hope summer tutoring efforts for incoming fourth-graders to reduce summer learning loss and increase reading proficiency.

Volunteer tutors work with students at several community based tutoring sites at Northport Community Learning Center, Packers Apartment Community Center and the Boys and Girls Club. At each visit, tutors lead one-on-one reading activities, coordinated with the student’s curriculum. This tutoring will give students the opportunity to hone their reading skills and increase summer learning.

Children from low-income homes experience greater loss of learning over summer months,  a contributing factor in Dane County’s achievement gap.

“United Way is a key partner in our work to close the achievement gap,” Former MMSD Superintendent Dan Nerad said. “United Way has the ability to mobilize partners across sectors to make change happen. They’re

United Way is focused on ensuring all students succeed academically and graduate from high school,
regardless of race.

the natural fit for this partnership.”

Research has proven one-on-one tutoring accelerates reading skills, improves self-esteem, and increases positive attitudes towards school. Tutors play a crucial

role in helping students reach the third-grade reading level, an indicator of future academic success.

“Tutoring is invaluable,” Nate Peterson said, AmeriCorps Schools of Hope Tutor Coordinator at Lowell Elementary school. “I’m hoping students will be more prepared for school, and more importantly that they’ll continue to love reading.”