Read some of the comments from the Youth Literacy summer interns!

Read some of the comments from the Youth Literacy summer interns!

 

The Youth Literacy Program wrapped up an 8-week summer program, Igniting Superhero Readers, in August! Twenty-six interns, young adults in the Asheville community, supported elementary students with 1:1 literacy instruction. Over 75 students participating in the Youth Transformed for Life and Christine W. Avery Learning Center summer camp programs received tutoring services to strengthen literacy skills and a love for reading! Read some of the comments from the Youth Literacy summer interns.

What was the most challenging part of being a tutor, and what was the most rewarding?

“Keeping kids’ attention was a struggle, as well as being able to handle emotional outbursts. The most rewarding part for me was when I listened to one of my kids read a book – it was like magic watching her put together a story and comprehend it.”

“The most challenging part of tutoring was when one of my students wouldn’t even come to sit down with me to read or play a game.  The most rewarding part was meeting kids in my community; they made me laugh every day, and having conversations with them was always interesting.”

 

 

Please give a few examples of ways in which you saw growth.

“The ability for my younger student to start to put together words better was a big deal, and my second student flew through “I Am Enough” and began to radiate the same energy the book had. When they both began to ask me to do the workbooks, I knew they had grown.

“My student once told me in the most adorable and goofy way, “I can’t read!” but towards the end, when we got farther in his lesson book, he was reading the lines of words very well and could also write words after I say them. Finishing the post-assessment made me proud because I’ve seen my student working hard and I could tell his skills improved.”

“Z. started sounding out words he didn’t know on sight. This was an amazing breakthrough. I was blown away by him. It was so rewarding to watch his self-esteem grow.”

Read some of the comments from the Youth Literacy summer interns!

 

What do you feel you gained through this internship (in addition to the salary)? What did you learn or experience that is important to you?

“I feel that not only did I gain an amazing bond with these little kiddos, but I also gained a new sense of patience and gentleness for them. The two boys I worked with were in the foster care system. Honestly, it broke my heart because the world would look at them as a troubled youth, but in reality, they are going through things that most can’t imagine. They taught me to attentively listen; they also taught me that even though I have a job to do, some things are more important– like having a conversation with someone who cares.” 

“I gained a better understanding of how kids struggle with reading skills and how beneficial one-on-one tutoring can be. I also learned how much power words can have and how negative or positive self-talk can make a huge difference in a student’s attitude and perception of what they think they are capable of.”

“This internship provided me with a new perspective that I didn’t have before.  I got to interact with people from my community, how to better communicate with others, and how kids learn and are treated in educational environments will affect them for the rest of their lives. Interacting with the kids was my absolute favorite part; seeing them gain confidence in themselves and watching them grow and have fun while doing it was the best feeling in the world.

“I gained a better understanding of how the passion for reading begins and a new appreciation for patience.”

Read some of the comments from the Youth Literacy summer interns!

 

How will this internship contribute to your goals for the future?

“Right now, I’d love to become a librarian. Libraries are the centers of our communities. I’d love to be able to sponsor community events and programs like these in whatever profession I enter. This experience will not only help me now and allow me to gain even more experience as I finish high school and college, but it’s also something that I will never forget as I move into the future.”

“I plan to use this internship to give myself a solid background whilst pursuing a career in adolescent psychology. I also plan to continue doing it and may try to find similar programs wherever I go, knowing that I have the proper background.”

“I can’t say for sure that I see a future with me working kids as a profession, but I loved this experience and will do it again as long as it is available for me to apply for in the summer. I don’t want to necessarily work with kids, but I want to work for kids. I am a criminal justice major, navigating my way through undergrad to become a lawyer.”

“I have always loved reading. I love sharing that passion with others and discussing books with others. To be able to aid a child’s literacy growth has been an amazing experience for me as a book lover. This will contribute to my goal to continue inspiring others to read and encouraging others’ passion for reading.”

“While I don’t plan on working with kids for my career someday, this internship taught me how to be more fun and creative. It also taught me how important it is that kids (and adults alike) believe they are capable of conquering challenges and doing things that may not come naturally to them.

“This internship will help me realize that I want to be a teacher in the future.

“This internship contributed to my goals in the future because it has always been my dream to help POC children in the community. I always wanted to be the inspiration I wanted as a kid, and I feel like I have done that with this internship.”

comments from the Youth Literacy summer interns!







 










 

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The Igniting Superhero Readers internship will continue throughout the school year

The Igniting Superhero Readers internship will continue throughout the school year, thanks to a grant from the City of Asheville! The interns will support elementary-age students in the Youth Transformed for Life and Christine W. Avery Learning Center after-school programs.

This is an exciting opportunity to support young adults in the Asheville community as they build their knowledge and skills. The interns will provide 1:1 reading tutoring to the children participating in the after-school programs.

 The Igniting Superhero Readers internship emphasizes recruiting youth of color for paid internships to serve as tutors. Recent research documents that students of color taught by those who share their identities and cultural backgrounds benefit academically and emotionally (source: Teach for America, June 2019). 

 
In the 2021 summer program, the bond between the interns and campers was almost instantaneous, and the results were encouraging. The campers received pre-and post-tests conducted by Title I Reading Specialists from Asheville City Schools, using the same tools used during the school year. Of the campers who completed both the pre-and post-tests, 41 out of 44 (93%) improved their test scores in at least one literacy area.
 
The experience is beneficial to the interns/tutors as well. They learn a new skill, gain the experience of a summer job, have an opportunity to “give back” to the community, and receive letters of recommendation. Once a week, they attend professional development sessions on interview skills, financial literacy, and how to describe the intern experience in college essays and resumes. Read more about their experiences participating in the internship.

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The Youth Literacy Program wrapped up the summer program Igniting Superhero Readers!

Igniting Superhero Readers summer programThe Youth Literacy Program wrapped up an 8-week summer program, Igniting Superhero Readers, in August! Twenty-six interns, young adults in the Asheville community, supported elementary students with 1:1 literacy instruction. Over 75 students participating in the Youth Transformed for Life and Christine W. Avery Learning Center summer camp programs received tutoring services to strengthen literacy skills and a love for reading!

Here is what some of the interns shared about what they learned from their experiences and the ways they saw their students grow:

“My student wanted to title a drawing she made Masterpiece, and she made a great attempt at spelling such a long hard word by herself. “

Igniting Superhero Readers summer program“My student once told me in the most adorable and goofy way, “I can’t read!” but towards the end, when we got farther in his lesson book, he was reading the lines of words very well and could also write words after I say them. Finishing the post-assessment definitely made me proud because I’ve seen my student working hard and I could tell his skills improved.”

Igniting Superhero Readers summer program“This internship contributed to my goals in the future because it has always been my dream to help POC children in the community. I always wanted to be the inspiration I wanted as a kid, and I feel I have done that with this internship.”

Igniting Superhero Readers Summer Camp

 

 

The Youth Literacy Program improves the academic achievement of children from low-income families who struggle with literacy skills.  The project trains tutors who provide free, one-on-one instruction in reading, writing, and spelling.  This program serves approximately 50 students per year (Read Izzy’s success story!). 

Youth Literacy tutors work with children from low-income families who read, write, and/or spell below grade level. Tutors in this program complete an initial orientation and 16-20 hours of training, which includes some pre-course work and/or homework (short articles to read, short videos to watch). They then receive follow-up support and the option to attend in-service training throughout their tutoring commitment.

Tutors in this program work with their students twice per week for 50 minutes each session for at least one school year. Literacy Together has identified two afterschool programs in Asheville to work with their students:  Youth Transformed for Life (YTL) and Christine W. Avery. Learn more about volunteering with this program.

Read these Youth Literacy success stories

 

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WLOS’s interview with Julie Taylor, the Youth Literacy Program Director

interview with Julie TaylorOn Tuesday, July 19, the City of Asheville’s Housing and Community Development Committee reviewed and made its final recommendations for which organizations should receive funding from the city’s Strategic Partnership Pilot Program to help close the opportunity gapThe Evaluation Committee then sent a list of their top 8 recommended recipients to the Housing and Community Development Committee for review, and Literacy Together is one of them. Here you can read the article and watch the interviewThank you!
 

The Youth Literacy Program improves the academic achievement of children from low-income families who struggle with literacy skills.  The project trains tutors who provide free, one-on-one instruction in reading, writing, and spelling.  This program serves approximately 50 students per year.

Read these Youth Literacy success stories!

This video portrays two of our Youth Literacy students and their tutor. Enjoy it!

 

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Our Igniting Superhero Readers Summer Camp is going strong!

Igniting Superhero Readers Summer CampThe Youth Literacy Program just wrapped-up week five of summer camp! Igniting Superhero Readers Summer Camp is an eight-week program working with fifty-two elementary-age students in the Youth Transformed for Life and the Christine W. Avery Learning Center summer camps. Twenty-six young adult interns received training in phonics-based instruction to work with the students daily to build literacy skills and a love for reading! 
 
Igniting Superhero Readers Summer Camp
The interns also benefit from professional learning opportunities. Joseph Jamison from United Way, Lauren De Haan from the UNC Asheville Career Center, and David Dowd from Bank of Americahave provided workshops for the interns to build their professional knowledge, skills, and experience.
 
 

An abundance of research supports the implementation of community-based summer bridge programs to decrease reading loss, especially for youth from low-resource households. A study published in Reading & Writing Quarterly (2018 34:3, 263-280) demonstrates that a well-designed, community-based summer program can improve literacy skill outcomes for elementary-aged students. 

 Igniting Superhero Readers Summer Camp intentionally emphasized recruiting youth of color for paid internships to serve as tutors. Recent research documents that students of color taught by those who share their identities and cultural backgrounds benefit academically and emotionally (source: Teach for America, June 2019). 

 
In last summer’s program, the bond between the interns and campers was almost instantaneous, and the results were encouraging. The campers received pre-and post-tests conducted by Title I Reading Specialists from Asheville City Schools, using the same tools used during the school year. Of the campers who completed both the pre-and post-tests, 41 out of 44 (93%) improved their test scores in at least one literacy area.
 
Igniting Superhero Readers Summer Camp

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