In-School Tutoring

In-School Tutoring Program

During 2014-15 Beacon Hill piloted Educate NOW, an effective In-School Tutoring program for 55 students across two elementary schools in South Dallas & Oak Cliff. As part of the I-2020 program, Dallas ISD awarded Beacon Hill a contract to continue to provide In-School Tutoring  to over 550 students across ten campuses!

Who are we serving?

The schools where we are providing services are part of I-2020. These schools  have been designated as low performing and comprised of many low income families.  A typical example of the schools we serve is:

  • TEA designated “Improvement Required.”
  • Only 20% of students read at grade level in 2013.
  • 81% of students are African American.
  • 19% are Hispanic .
  • 88% are economically disadvantaged.

This seasoned and successful In-School Tutoring Program provides individualized attention, tutoring to achieve mastery in Language Arts, and applied learning to ensure academic success in Middle School, High School, and beyond.

Why Tutoring is Needed

This issue for the children in our targeted schools will likely worsen exponentially without intervention:

  • A child’s academic success at the end of first grade predicts with stunning accuracy how that child will be performing when they reach ninth grade.
  • Nationwide in 2013, 56% of non-Hispanic white eighth graders were below the proficient level, compared with 79% of Latinos and American Indians and 86% of African Americans.[1]
  • Minority children living in poverty who are not proficient readers by 3rd grade are eight times more likely to drop out of high school.

Without assistance NOW, high school dropouts will significantly increase the tax burden through higher: unemployment rates, incidence of criminal activity, substance use disorders, mental and physical health problems, use of public assistance and more. As a business community, employers will become increasing frustrated with an illiterate and unskilled workforce.

Tutoring Strategies

Educate NOW deploys the highly effective Gideon Curriculum. Instructional materials include curriculum related to learning to read, reading comprehension and vocabulary, standardized test prep, grammar, writing. Educate NOW is designed to promote self-discipline, focus and ability, confidence, self-challenging behaviors, and continued learning. Students are provided with Gideon booklets which the child works to master.

Hands on manipulative opportunities are offered to support the Gideon curriculum and to ensure that each student’s learning style is addressed. Research shows that one of the most effective methods for engaging a child’s brain is through sensory exploration, hand movement and use of manipulatives. We educate through visual, auditory, tactile, kinesthetic, and social opportunities. We are using hands-on manipulatives to engage students and help them learn through tactile and movement activities. We talk to them about what they are doing and why and give them an opportunity to see what everyone is creating through each manipulative task.

We are bringing reading to life and provide creative tutoring which children enjoy. For example, we provide a Literacy Tree where volunteers welcome students and read to them under the tree. Students can earn "Beacon Hill Bucks" for improved grades which can be spent in the Literacy Store on (donated) fun school supplies, head phones, cool socks, nail polish, watches, and more. This not only motivates students, but impacts financial literacy.

While there a range of literacy programs in Dallas, few rely on community volunteers who “look like” the children they serve. Children see their tutors as role models and begin to believe that they can become educated and successful.

Curriculum

Our proven curriculum is fully TEKS and ELPS aligned. It assists with basic understanding, application of critical thinking skills, and use of strategies to analyze:

Basic Understanding. Beginning with the consonants, the Beacon Hill/Gideon Learning to Read program teaches not just letter recognition, but the sounds of the letters as well. We provide orally-read primary phonic storybooks to accompany this series that promote confidence and fluent readers.

Applying Critical Thinking Skills.Our vocabulary program creates challenging activities to advance and strengthen basic language skills. Working with a list of twelve words and their definitions, the student engages in a variety of exercises such as crosswords, scrambled sentences, multiple choices and matching.

Using Strategies to Analyze. (Comprehension) The Beacon Hill/Gideon curriculum provides for early to complex comprehension levels designed to promote reading for meaning. The comprehension booklets provide a variety of exercises while developing new vocabulary.

[1] Annie E. Casey. Kids Count Data Book 2014. Accessed on April 10, 2015 at http://www.aecf.org/m/resourcedoc/aecf-2014kidscountdatabook-2014.pdf