Literacy First in the Alcalde

literacy first teacher and studentJust a few days after the new year, more than 100 Americorps members sit in a room for an intensive, 50-hour training program to become literacy tutors. They’re shown several random symbols and given a sound to associate with each one. Then, they have to read them.

“It feels impossible,” says Hiren Mistry, a second-year tutor and University of Buffalo graduate. It’s the feeling many children have when they’re asked to sound out letters they simply don’t know. “When you know how to read, it’s easy to forget what it felt like trying to learn.”

Sixty-two percent of Texas students cannot proficiently read by fourth grade. And Mary Ellen Isaacs, PhD ’96, the director of Literacy First, says the problem starts even earlier than that. “Children that aren’t reading well by third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school,” she says.

Read full article in the Alcalde, the official publication of the Texas Exes.


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