UNC Charlotte Reads is a tutoring program that combines high-quality clinical experiences with evidence-based early literacy tutoring: a win-win for both teacher candidates and students. The program is supported financially through a partnership with the Belk Foundation.
Reading tutors are undergraduate students, primarily juniors, in UNC Charlotte Cato College of Education. They implement Sound Partners, an evidence-based reading intervention, with students at Hornets Nest Elementary School twice per week, and tutors receive weekly coaching to ensure fidelity and consistency.
During tutoring in Fall 2021, the hope was that the 1st and 2nd grade students would increase 10 correct letter sounds. Actual growth exceeded the goal: students grew by about 15 correct letter sounds and 4 words read/minute.
There is a national movement in teacher preparation for earlier clinical experiences. UNC Charlotte Reads allows education majors to have relevant, clinical practice prior to student teaching in their senior year.