The Oaklandside

Most Oakland Unified School District third graders are not reading at grade level. Many schools are turning to “high-dosage” tutoring from community-based organizations to help.

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Literacy tutoring programs show promise in Oakland

Ignite! Reading is another organization providing Oakland students with literacy support and getting results. The organization, which launched in 2021, currently partners with KIPP Bridge Academy in West Oakland, Learning without Limits, an elementary charter school in Fruitvale, and Korematsu Discovery Academy, an elementary school in East Oakland. 

Ignite! Reading provides virtual tutoring to students during the school day in 15-minute sessions every day. Jessica Reid Sliwerski, the founder of Ignite! Reading, sees the program as a “safety net” that can help students who have struggled with previous reading instruction.

“If the system isn’t ready to serve all children, then let’s bring in a safety net that is going to make sure that they learn what they need to learn while we give the system time to catch up,” she said. 

By providing virtual tutors, Ignite! Reading also helps relieve some of the pressure on schools to find adequate staff for one-on-one instruction. 

“It’s very, very difficult to get fully staffed with tutors. You have to find the tutors, you have to train the tutors, you have to keep the tutors, you have to direct and manage the tutors, which is a job in and of itself,” said Kareem Weaver, the co-founder of FULCRUM, an organization that advocates for science-based reading instruction. “We’re trying to get our kids to read, so what can we do to remove any stumbling blocks to that happening?”

From “Literacy tutoring programs show promise in Oakland” The Oaklandside (November 2022)

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The Oaklandside

Most Oakland Unified School District third graders are not reading at grade level. Many schools are turning to “high-dosage” tutoring from community-based organizations to help.