Reading Is Fundamental

The Children’s Literacy Project (formerly Augustine Literacy Project of the Triangle) improves the literacy skills of children from low-resource households by training and supporting volunteer tutors who provide free, long-term, one-to one instruction using research-based methodology. Focused on children who are not reading at grade-level, CLP uses an evidence-based curriculum based on phonics, emphasizing the relationship between a sound and a letter.

Each tutor receives intensive training—pre-course work, classroom, and practicum—based on a proven methodology for teaching struggling readers. One tutor is assigned to one child, and they assist the child throughout the school year, meeting twice a week for 30 to 40 minutes.

In response to COVID-19, CLP created a pre-reading curriculum. Executive Director Lori Easterlin said, “this is [for] kids with missed learning who are now in the first grade, who’ve never sat in a classroom until this year due to the pandemic.”  The organization was able to provide a more in-depth understanding about phonics to the first graders. “We’re introducing consonants and short-vowels to them and eventually, it all started to really make sense to them,” she explained. “And three months later, 8 out of 9 are now moving into our regular curriculum! It’s cause for major celebration.”

In addition to helping children learn to read, CLP helps to build self-confidence. In this program, children are likely to go from being shy and reserved, to wanting to read in front of their classmates. Observation and study also showed children were likely to excel in other classes once their confidence increased in reading. “The health of a community is very much related to literacy rates,” Ms. Easterlin says.