Who We Are
The Alexandria Tutoring Consortium (ATC) is a 501 ( c) (3) organization working in partnership with Alexandria's Faith Community, the City of Alexandria, the Community at Large and Alexandria's Public Elementary Schools to recruit, train and match volunteers from congregations, community groups, businesses,City employees and individuals who sign up to tutor kindergarteners and first graders in literacy skills.
Every child in Alexandria can read and succeed!
To provide the foundation for future learning success by helping to ensure children in the Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) can read at or above grade level by the end of third grade.
How we do our work - as the Alexandria Tutoring Consortium (ATC), we commit to the following values:
- Value each person's contributions, concerns, and time
- Trust others, and be worthy of trust
- Fulfill commitments
- Seek the input of all relevant parties
- Encourage others to use their strengths and talents
- Collaborate internally and externally in service of the children of Alexandria
- Attend to barriers that may impede inclusive participation
- Filter all decisions and actions through the lens of how they will benefit the children of Alexandria
- Celebrate our mission together
- Regularly seek and respond to evaluation and feedback
- Regularly set goals, and evaluate progress
- Be open to change
- Strive for continual improvement
- Expect high-performance in all aspects of ATC work
In 1996, Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) launched the Primary Initiative with the goal that all students in ACPS would be able to read and do math at grade level by the end of second grade. When the Rev. Gary Charles, then pastor of the Old Presbyterian Meeting House, heard about the Primary Initiative, he joined with Herbert Berg, then superintendent of ACPS, and Steve Rideout, then Chief Judge of the Alexandria Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court, to start a program that united local faith communities and elementary school principals, teachers, and reading specialists to provide reading tutors to first and second grade students in the public schools. They named the organization Alexandria Tutoring Consortium (ATC).
Today, in order to meet the need for volunteer tutors expressed by ACPS, we have expanded our recruiting base beyond our supportive member congregations to include any individual who wants to tutor, community groups and businesses, and, through Mayor Euille's Initiative, Alexandria City employees.
In 2006, ATC incorporated and received tax-exempt 501c3 status. As a result we are able to receive tax-deductible contributions from individuals, organizations, businesses, etc. to support our work.
The need for tutors is great. In spring 2014, over 30% of ACPS third graders did not reach reading proficiency on Virginia's spring PALS (Phonological Awareness and Literacy Screening) tests. According to the Casey Foundation Kids’Count report, those 250 plus children are now on the "dropout track" because they will not have the necessary skills to engage in language and higher learning activities in 4th grade and beyond. The National Research Council states that "academic success, as defined by high school graduation, can be predicted with reasonable accuracy by knowing someone's reading skill at the end of third grade."
An additional challenge for ACPS and ATC is that, for whatever reason – not having attended preschool, English is a second language, lack of books in the homes, each year approximately 25% of Alexandria’s children enter kindergarten needing extra help bringing their literacy skills up to grade level. To increase the percentage of children reading at or above grade level by the end of third grade is the current mission of the Alexandria Tutoring Consortium. Please join us in fulfilling this mission. There is no greater gift to a child and to Alexandria's future than generations of children empowered with the ability to read.
Board of Directors and Staff
Board members are responsible for the overall policy and direction of ATC, and delegate responsibility of day-to-day program operations to the staff. Board meetings are open to other interested parties.