Overview, Description and Purpose of Program
The Reading First Program trains Tutors to work with struggling readers in Kindergarten
to third grade classrooms in local schools. Reading First Tutors work between 4 and
8 hours a week in the schools. Tutors who qualify for University Work Study can receive
payment for the hours they put into the field placement: all other Tutors work on
a volunteer basis.
Each year, the Reading First Coordinator is a Master’s Candidate in Literacy and
a Graduate Assistant in the College of Education. The Coordinator serves as the instructor
for the 2 training courses (SPST 137 & 138) and is responsible for observing Tutors
in their school placements.
The Reading First Program also serves as a paraprofessional program in conjunction
with the Graduate Literacy Program. Graduate students enrolled the Assessment II course
(Spring Semester Only) provide professional development for the Reading First Tutors.
SPST 137 & SPST 138
Reading First Tutors take 2 one-credit training courses: SPST 137 in Fall and SPST
138 in Spring semester. In order to enroll in this course, students must have completed
EDU 250 or ENGL 357.
The course meets once a time a week for approximately two hours for new tutors. Returning
tutors from previous semesters are only required to attend three classes. Students
will receive a letter grade for the course. All tutors are required to write one
lesson plan as well as undergo one observation by the course instructor.
The focus of SPST 137 & SPST 138 is to familiarize tutors with the five essential
components of effective reading instruction according to the National Reading Panel
(NRP) and supported by Reading First under the No Child Left Behind Act. The components
are Phonics, Phonemic Awareness, Fluency, Vocabulary, and Comprehension. Tutors will
also be provided with tutoring strategies and activities that they will be able to
use with struggling readers in their tutoring placement.
Put Reading First Publication