The importance of reading as a foundational life skill cannot be overstated. Nearly everything we do in life involves or relates to our ability to communicate with others through speech, reading, and writing. This importance is significantly amplified when dealing with students from difficult family situations and disadvantaged economic backgrounds. These kids face even more hurdles when they embark on their academic careers.
Literacy tutoring for Jacksonville students from challenging backgrounds is an essential resource, enabling them to transition from grade school to further educational goals. With the right support from our team at Communities in Schools in Jacksonville, we have helped thousands of students stick with their education, pursue their goals and eventually launch successful careers.
Let's take a closer look at five ways educators and parents can help struggling students in our community improve their reading skills moving forward.
Set Aside Reading Time
To help students realize their full literacy potential, it’s always wise to lock out daily periods where reading is the main focus. Create a quiet, peaceful environment conducive to learning and that is free of everyday distractions like the TV, phones, and video games. Take the time to ask students what interests them, then provide reading resources related to these topics. The desire to learn will be stronger when the subject matter is inherently more important to the student and proper time has been allotted for reading.
Instead of attempting to complete large blocks of text, break up the content into more manageable small chunks. Easily digestible content goes a long way toward establishing a sense of accomplishment in the student’s mind. As each section is completed, exchange high-fives with everyone on the team and celebrate these milestones so everyone knows that they have achieved something special. With this approach, you can help the students you are working with to feel positive about themselves and encourage them to push harder on the next portions of text.
Try forming small reading "teams" of two or three students to encourage friendship and camaraderie throughout the reading process. Ask them to confirm that they understand the subject matter by reading back passages periodically and discussing them amongst their closest peers. You can use games, activities, and other methods to encourage students to work together, allowing them an opportunity to share their success with their fellow students. This is a very useful strategy as retention has been proven to significantly increase when kids receive positive peer feedback.
Rinse and Repeat
Once this foundation of learning has been built, simply repeat the process but expand on each step as your student’s reading maturity grows. Set aside more time for reading each day. Expose them to newer, more advanced topics and slowly increase the portions of text to read as their appetite for knowledge grows. As time goes on, you can increase the size of your reading teams, and bring in more diverse viewpoints. Introducing team-building and interpersonal relationships into the reading skills improvement process will also help to better prepare students for the complex challenges life will throw at them, which is what education is all about.
Hone Your Skills As An Educator For The Benefit Of Your Students
Finally, don't neglect your skills as a teacher or role model. Never forget that you are also on an educational journey, a never-ending quest to be the best mentor you can be, providing reading help for students in Jacksonville, FL. Set aside time to review what has worked and what needs improving, and write down your near-term goals for strengthening your curriculum. Discussing these notes with other teachers and educators, you can confidently finalize your strategies into clearly defined action items to ensure that the students you work with have every chance of succeeding in the future. For more information about how we help students to improve their reading skills, be sure to get in touch with our team at Communities in Schools in Jacksonville today.