On the sunny morning of Saturday, January 17th, HISD Student Congress’ Agenda Committee met at Siphon Coffee to discuss the launching of a new literacy initiative.
The pilot program, which is in the works at a number of HISD high schools, will pair high school students with second grade elementary school students in order to develop the younger students’ reading comprehension skills. The high school student will act as a tutor, mentor and friend to the elementary school student, reading for an hour with the second grader once a week. The program will allow the high school students involved to develop leadership skills while cultivating community involvement.
The students present at the meeting discussed a number of items. Below is a rough outline of the conversation:
- We are looking for a name for the initiative. Submit suggestions here: http://goo.gl/forms/Dx33l4eM5v
- We need to draft emails for both the high school and elementary school principals in each school pair.
- There should be a student ambassador for the initiative at each participating high school. This ambassador will coordinate with the principal, administration, and students at each school.
- One high school student will tutor one 2nd grade student (the same student each week). Elementary school principal will contact teacher(s) who will recommend students for the program.
- The first tutoring session will take place during school.
- There will be a club/other organization at each school focusing on the initiative. They will meet to create lesson plans before each tutoring session. They will have a teacher sponsor.
- Tutoring/reading sessions will take place every week, mostly after school, if possible once a month during school.
- Tutors will be trained in teaching reading. We are going to try http://youthlit.org/Tutor_Sign_Up_SX9N.html first.
Juliana Dunn, Kiera Boyle, Anusha De, Lucas Fernandez, Sushii Uyen Phuong Dong, Alex Sara, Autumn Caraway and Herlinda Castignolli attended the meeting.
The Agenda Committee will next meet at Student Congress’ meeting on January 31st.