Four Delta-based elementary schools to work in partnership with the Reading Roadmap Inc. to improve literacy outcomes

CLARKSDALE, MS, USA, April 19, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ -- The Reading Roadmap, Inc. nonprofit announced today that the organization received a grant for the 2021-2022 school year to serve four Clarksdale Municipal elementary schools through its Mississippi Reading Roadmap initiative. The funding provided by the Walton Family Foundation will help support the continuation of high dosage tutoring afterschool as well as the implementation of social and emotional programming for families. The district’s four elementary schools include Booker T. Washington, Kirkpatrick, George H. Oliver and Heidelberg and have 100% free-and-reduced meal eligibility.

“Our close collaboration with the Clarksdale School District has provided important resources for children and families in the Mississippi Delta, said Andrew Hysell, Director of the Reading Roadmap. “The Mississippi Reading Roadmap’s high dosage tutoring program is even more important now as striving readers deal with COVID-related learning loss.”

According to a paper by McKinsey & Company titled “COVID-19 and Student Learning the United States: The Hurt Could Last a Lifetime,” a reduction in in-person instruction due to COVID-19 has increased existing learning gaps. According to the 2020 study, low-income children on average will have lost twelve months of learning by this Spring.

To catch striving readers up, the Mississippi Reading Roadmap program uses the “science of reading” and coordinates high-dosage tutoring afterschool with in-school data and instruction. The Reading Roadmap program aligns with partner school’s testing and instructional strategies and provides individualized tutoring to address each student’s own reading gaps.

According to Clarksdale Superintendent Dr. Earl Joe Nelson, "The Clarksdale Municipal School District has utilized the Reading Roadmap program as a tool to improve literacy. Data has shown that in-school and after-school interventions have been instrumental in closing the achievement gap, and in this instance alleviate some COVID- related learning loss.” According to Dr. Nelson, "The implementation of programs such as these have proven to be beneficial and serve as an additional level of support in response to early interventions.” He added, “Additional tutorial programs will provide support for students in working on deficit skills and result in growth and student achievement.”

According to Clarksdale iReady reading assessment data, the school’s Tier 3 students attending the program transitioned out of that group at a faster rate than the school population at large. Tier 3 students are considered at-risk readers.

In addition to Walton Family Foundation funding and technical assistance, strong local leadership has also been a key in program success. Taurean Morton, M.Ed., Mississippi Reading Roadmap Coordinator said, “The success of the program and each child belongs to the unwavering tutors that have overcame each obstacle thrown at them during the COVID-19 pandemic. They have utilized initiative, creativity, and patience to ensure each child receives the level of educational services they deserve. Those who have participated, both child and tutor, can feel proud of their accomplishments.”

According to national reading measures, nearly two-thirds of America’s fourth graders are not proficient readers. Early reading skills can predict lifelong success. Without early literacy skills, students are four times less likely to graduate high school on time.

Andrew Hysell
Reading Roadmap, Inc.
+1 608-717-9269
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