ATC’s Tutoring Programs
ATC offers two tutoring programs. The first is Book Buddies, a curriculum developed at the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education to teach struggling readers. It was specifically designed for use by community volunteers trained to tutor students individually, one-on-one. (Research shows that one-on-one tutoring gets significantly higher results than tutoring in pairs or groups.) ATC employs reading or education specialists to train and oversee all tutors, write weekly lesson plans targeted to each child’s reading needs, and provide necessary reading materials. Presently ATC is serving kindergartners at William Ramsay elementary school and first grade students at John Adams, Charles Barrett, Cora Kelly, Lyles-Crouch, Matthew Maury, James Polk and Samuel Tucker elementary schools.
Reading Readiness, ATC’s second program, is a program designed to address the needs of children who start school without sufficient pre-literacy skills. Trained volunteer tutors also work one-on-one with kindergartners to teach the alphabet by using pictures and sounds associated with letters, tracing letters, and playing word games. In 2018-2019, this program serves kindergartners at John Adams and Patrick Henry elementary schools.
Students in the ATC program are identified by Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) teachers as those needing reading support. Once parents or guardians give ATC permission to enroll a student, twice weekly tutoring sessions begin and are conducted October through May. Among ATC students, 75 percent belong to racial or ethnic minorities, 56 percent are English Language Learners, 13 percent have disabilities, and 69 percent qualify for free and reduced lunch. All students served by ATC are residents of the City of Alexandria.