CCAC students earn work-study award while tutoring students in reading at Pittsburgh King PreK–8

Article by: CCAC Public Relations

PITTSBURGH-The Community College of Allegheny County has created a new federal work-study opportunity, America Reads, whereby CCAC students earn their work-study award while tutoring elementary students in literacy skills at no cost to the community. The CCAC America Reads pilot program, which began in the fall 2017 semester, identified six CCAC America Reads student tutors from Allegheny Campus to work with 14 third-graders in Pittsburgh King PreK-8's Afterschool Academy. The tutors work one-on-one with the third-graders three days a week at the North Side school.

Before tutoring began, the tutors completed more than 18 hours of training, covering topics such as mentoring 101 (facilitated by The Mentoring Partnership of Southwestern Pennsylvania), diversity and cultural humility, mandatory child abuse reporting, elementary reading pedagogy, and orientation to the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh's resources. Ongoing trainings are planned, including "Be There," a training session from the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania that aims to reduce chronic absenteeism.

America Reads is a national initiative that began under the Clinton administration in response to research that showed 40 percent of children were not reading at basic level by the end of third grade. Additional research has indicated that third grade is a pivotal grade-students who do not read proficiently by third grade are four times more likely to drop out of school without a high school diploma.

The next goal for the America Reads program is to expand to other CCAC campuses and centers. CCAC will be identifying potential community partners that serve K-3 students in afterschool programs. In this way, CCAC will be strengthening the efforts of the greater Pittsburgh community to ensure children are reading proficiently by the end of third grade, preparing them for future success.

The CCAC program was created by Katlyn Alves, an AmeriCorps VISTA member sponsored by the Pennsylvania Campus Compact (PACC) VISTA program. Alves was selected to head this effort by the Frieda G. Shapira Center for Learning Through Service under the supervision of CCAC Assistant Vice President Richard Adams.

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