What Sets Us Apart?

Intensity

Literacy First tutors provide approximately 100,000 hours of public service each year.

Research Base

Literacy First reading intervention is aligned with nationally recognized best practices, as well as the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills and district curricular guidelines.

Expertise

Literacy First program staff are experts in early childhood education. Our staff are former teachers, school administrators, and reading specialists.

"I am in my fourth week of teaching 5th grade and I want you to know that there is no way I would be here if it wasn't for my experience with Literacy First. I am so grateful for all of your support and advice, and I hope you know that you don't just change children's lives, you change teachers' lives too! My current and future students all thank you."

—Kati Hinkson,
former Literacy First tutor

Training and Support

Literacy First staff provide 80 hours of intensive, pre-service training before our tutors start serving in schools, and weekly onsite support, training, and supervision to all AmeriCorps tutors.

Diversity of its Tutors

We take pride in the diversity of our tutors. Our AmeriCorps members come from a variety of backgrounds and ethnicities, and are recent college graduates to retired senior citizens. Literacy First hires bilingual tutors to teach reading to K–2nd graders in English and Spanish.

Effectiveness

Literacy First monitors children's progress weekly using AIMSweb, a nationally recognized data management program, and we administer comprehensive benchmark assessments three times a year for each child we serve. Approximately two-thirds of the Literacy First-tutored students reach grade-level in reading by the end of the school year.

Cost Effectiveness

Literacy First provides low-income schools with intensive early literacy support. Private tutoring can cost families over $3,500. Literacy First, as a long-term partner working in Title 1 public schools, provides tutors to children at a cost of approximately $600 per child, at no cost to their family.

Location at UT Austin

While UT Austin does not fund our program, Literacy First leverages the resources (research, infrastructure, college students, etc.) of a major university to help meet critical educational needs of the schools.