Remedies for readers
Reading Clinic partners with
area foundations to aid City school
TU’s Reading Clinic, The Citigroup Foundation and CitiFinancial’s
Baltimore office pooled their resources to help pull one of Baltimore
City’s most academically challenged schools back from the
brink—in just over a year.
Waverly Elementary, which in 2001 was ranked among the worst of
Maryland’s failing schools, shed that stigma a few months
ago. With assistance from clinic staff, TU graduate students, employee
volunteers and a $10,000 grant from CitiFinancial, reading scores
will keep soaring.
Waverly owes its successes in part to Clinic Director Sharon Pitcher,
who developed Project Urban Outreach to strengthen literacy instruction
and achievement in City schools. Last summer she organized an on-site
reading clinic in which graduate students in reading education worked
with children, teachers and parents.
In the Summer Reading Clinic, CitiFinancial’s gift supported
one-on-one assessment and instruction for 23 struggling readers
in the morning, plus afternoon enrichment activities for all of
the Waverly students attending summer school. It also funded professional
development for eight Waverly teachers as well as volunteer training
and enhanced parent involvement.
With the help of her colleague Gael Macnamara, Pitcher expanded
Project Urban Outreach to the fall semester with another grant from
the Baltimore Sun. The two members of the Department of Reading,
Special Education and Instructional Technology faculty first brought
Waverly students and parents to TU’s campus to undergo instruction.
They conducted volunteer training for parents, who then took over
tutoring children from the fall clinic.
The Reading Clinic staff saw the culmination of the their efforts
this week with the official opening of Waverly’s Parent Resource
Room, a permanent collection funded by CitiFinancial for parents
who want to help their children become lifelong learners.
Now it’s on to two more Baltimore schools in desperate need
of assistance. “We’re very excited to be working with
two more schools this semester, Diggs Johnson Middle School (funded
by Verizon) and Samuel Coleridge Taylor Elementary School (funded
by the Annie E. Casey Foundation),” says Pitcher.
“Project Urban Outreach gives us the opportunity to make
a difference in the lives of children, families and very needy schools.”
Story by Jan Lucas/Photo
by Kanji Takeno
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