What you do is making a difference! According to Dr. Laura Bednar, Deputy Superintendent at PCSSD
and our keynote speaker, “If you ever wonder how effective what you do as a tutor helping in our schools
is…one-to-one reading tutoring, led by trained adults can have a significant and positive effect on student
reading particularly on younger students…I can’t thank you enough”. If you didn’t get ANYTHING else
out of our Fall 2014 tutor workshop, we hope you got that!
However, if you missed our Fall 2014 tutor workshop, you missed a great one! (We hope to have the video
version loaded to our website soon, so stay tuned.) Following a great lunch sponsored by one of our
strongest Partners, Union Pacific, Dr. Bednar, Kiffany Davis, and Renee Dawson shared some incredibly
informative tips and resources to help our tutors measure and improve their students’ comprehension.
Dr. Bednar began by recognizing our Executive Director, Charlie Conklin, and his passion and leadership
in the area of children’s literacy. She also communicated that even though our program covers all three
school districts, everyone shares the same goal of helping children learn to read at grade level, and
working together, across district lines, can only help the program become even better.
Ms. Davis highlighted tips and tools for students in pre-K through second grade. Her reading foundation
tips included Letter Recognition (reading and writing), Rhyming Time, High Frequency Words (flash cards),
and using the 5 Finger system for retelling the story or identifying facts.
Ms. Dawson covered grades 3-5 and shared strategies for supporting comprehension including Story
Structure (identifying parts of the story), Making Connections, Inferring/Predicting and Vocabulary. Both
presentations provided reading level appropriate ways to improve the time spent with students, and even
included suggestions for inexpensive hands-on materials. There was too much valuable information to
share here, so we hope you’ll take the time to watch the video once it’s made available.
As part of the presentations, everyone was provided a grade-level appropriate packet with resources that
could be immediately put to use, and those packets will be made available under the Resources tab of the
AR Kids Read website for anyone that was not able to attend the workshop. Dr. Bednar closed by offering
tutors the opportunity to attend a “Make and Take” workshop where materials from the literacy department
of PCSSD would be made available for anyone interested.
If you were able to attend, we hope you felt the time was well spent. Be watching for the date for our
Spring 2015 workshop!