Only 39% of teacher preparation programs in the nation equip elementary teachers to use all five components of reading instruction (NCTQ, 2016). Additionally, only 20% of minority and low-income students in Texas are proficient in reading by 4th grade (NAEP, 2015). The SAReads Literacy Academy is designed to eradicate these issues by providing Science-Based Reading Instruction (SBRI) training to preservice and classroom teachers, as well as supplemental literacy experiences for families.
Preservice teachers from the Texas A&M-SA College of Education and Human Development work with kindergarten through third grade students from Southwest ISD for 9 weeks each semester. Preservice teachers gain clinical experience while tutoring as a way to improve their teaching skills and raise awareness around SBRI.
The first year of tutoring was in 2012, with only 203 students and 190 tutors. May 2017 marks the fifth year of tutoring, which has grown to include over 800 unique students and over 1,000 preservice teachers. In Fall 2017, tutoring will expand to fourth grade with plans to launch fifth grade tutoring the following academic year.
Special thanks to Texas A&M -San Antonio and Southwest ISD for making this program possible.
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