Cluster has had a program-wide focus on literacy since 2010, and our results have exceeded expectations. Despite the fact that 65 percent of our new students enter the program reading a year or more below grade level, over 75 percent of Cluster students are usually reading at or above grade level by the end of the tutoring year.
Cluster’s Structured Reading Project provides students with a reading curriculum to work on with their tutors. The project is based primarily on the SRA Reading Laboratory and requires elementary school students to work on their reading for a minimum of 30 minutes a week. High school students, who spend most of their tutoring session on homework, are given vocabulary workbooks and other materials that can be completed in as little as 10 to 20 minutes.
Cluster added Ready Readers, a special curriculum for its youngest students, to the reading project in 2013. The Ready Readers curriculum provides students in grades K-3 with 60 minutes of activities designed to build critical reading skills. Its goal is to have our students reading at grade level by the end of third grade.
Ready Readers is based on Book Buddies, a tutoring framework that was developed by Francine R. Johnston and Marcia Invernizzi at the University of Virginia in 1997.