An exciting new program is happening on the weekends at Little Lights: Reading Warriors. Reading Warriors is a Saturday program designed to help students expand their reading skills through one on one assistance.

In 2018, internal testing showed that about  85% of Little Lights students were reading below grade level. While that is a hard number, testing also showed that when students attend Little Lights regularly, 82% of them improve their reading and math scores during the year!  

Our programs are helping to close the gap, so we took the opportunity to add additional programming. Reading Warriors offers another hour each week of targeted and individualized reading practice.

Sarah Thomas, our Program Manager & Academic Analyst walked us through a typical day at Reading Warriors.

“When students arrive at Reading Warriors, each student is paired up with a volunteer tutor. They then have the chance to connect with their tutor over a snack before they start reading. After the first few minutes, students are given a book and worksheets.”

The book and reading worksheets are matched at each student’s instructional level, the highest level of independent reading a child is able to do with small assistance.

“This is the “sweet spot” where the best learning takes place,” Sarah said.” We don’t want the book to be too easy where the student is not being challenged at all, but we also don’t want it to be so hard that the student feels discouraged when reading.”

Throughout Reading Warriors students read a book multiple times, which helps with their fluency (being able to read with expression), while the supplementary worksheets help the students practice a variety of literacy skills, such as comprehension, vocabulary, phonics, and grammar.

At the end of reading time, the students and tutors eat lunch together before the students head home.

“Some kids really enjoy it and work hard the whole time. They feel really accomplished when they finish reading the book or doing a worksheet,” Sarah said. “Some kids struggle to focus reading on a Saturday morning, but those same kids keep coming back – so maybe there is something about it that they like!”

We are so excited to see how this new program will help our students learn and grow this school year!