School Community Service Project (LEAD)

Overview The proposed peer-tutoring program for Pinebrook Elementary School will involve teacher-selected students from third, fourth, and fifth grade who will serve as reading tutors for students of all ages who are below grade level in reading. 

 The program will be school wide and both tutors and tutees will be nominated by their classroom teachers. Tutors should be able to read at or above a mid-second grade level, show a willingness to help younger students, and follow simple tutoring strategies. Tutees should be able to read at the instructional level of early first grade or higher, be willing to read aloud to an older student, and accept corrective feedback and direction from the tutor. Both tutor and tutee candidates should be able to behave appropriately when away from direct adult supervision.

Tutors will receive training from resource and reading teachers over a span of four scripted sessions. These sessions will be held during school and last about forty minutes each. In the first session, the tutors will be taught the behaviors that are expected of them, how to enter a classroom to pick up a tutee and how to walk down the hall to and from tutoring sessions, and tips for solving any mild problems with the tutee. In the second session, tutors are shown how to compliment, praise, and give verbal and nonverbal encouragement to tutees. In the third session, tutors will learn how to do the listening-while-reading activity they will use during their tutoring sessions. In the last session, all of the skills that have already been taught will be reviewed and students will be given a chance to practice implementing their new ideas and skills.  RationaleThis year, one of Pinebrook Elementary School’s main focuses has been reading remediation. We are working diligently in order to help get all students on grade level in reading. The majority of our staff development meetings have been focused on RTI, or Response to Intervention. Students who are significantly below grade level in reading are given extra thirty to one-hundred twenty extra minutes of individual reading instruction, depending on the student’s needs. Both classroom teachers and resource teachers are doing their part to assist these students, but teachers and extra instructional time are limited.  One of the objectives from Pinebrook’s 2008-2011 School Improvement Plan is to “provide differentiation to meet individual student needs.” The strategies chosen by a select group of Pinebrook faculty include investigating programs to help identify at-risk students and providing differentiated instruction in core subjects. A peer-tutoring program would help to meet the above-mentioned objective by offering listening-while-reading, a research-based strategy for building reading fluency (National Reading Panel, 2000; Rose & Sherry, 1984; Van Bon, Boksebeld, Font Freide, & Van den Hurk, 1991). Listening-while-reading is an instructional method that allows the less-skilled reader to “rehearse” a passage by first following along silently in the text while the more accomplished reader reads it aloud. Then the tutee reads the same passage aloud, receiving help and corrective feedback on difficult words as needed (Wright & Cleary, 2006). The use of peer-tutors would not only give at-risk students a chance to emulate the reading strategies of an older student, but would also give the tutors themselves a leadership role and a feeling of responsibility. “How-to” PlanThe peer-tutoring program would be a simple, cost effective way to help get at-risk students reading on grade level. The following will be a step-by-step plan on how to implement the peer-tutoring program:1. Reading specialists will inform faculty of the listening-while-reading strategy. Faculty will be given scripts that tell how to train peer tutors.2. Teachers will select tutor and tutee candidates and explain expectations regarding behavior. They will also select level-appropriate books for their tutee candidates.3. Parent permission will be obtained for participation in the program from both tutors and tutees.4. Peer tutors will be trained together over a sequence of four sessions. Tutors will demonstrate proficiency in listening-while-reading at the final training session through being observed by a teacher at their first tutoring session.5. Peer-tutoring program will begin. Throughout the year, teachers and specialists will complete DIBLES assessments to monitor student progress.  Personnel, Materials, and Resources Needed·        Reading Specialists ·        Resource Teachers·        Classroom Teachers·        Age/Level Appropriate Books·        Quiet Space for Tutoring Sessions (Library)·        DIBLES Assessment Materials Professional Development and Growth Opportunities        Teachers will have a staff development meeting at the beginning of the year. They will be shown a power point presentation that outlines the peer-tutoring program and the research behind the listening-while-reading strategy. They will also be provided with scripts for training tutors and book lists to choose literature for tutees. 


·        September: Train teachers, chooses tutor and tutee Candidates, obtain parent permission, train tutors.·        October: Begin peer-tutoring program. Tutors and tutees should meet for twenty minutes at least twice a week.·        November: Peer-tutoring continues. Progress of tutees will be assessed by classroom or resource teachers.·        December: Peer-tutoring program will continue. Changes may be made due to the needs of tutees.·        January: Progress of tutees will be assessed by reading specialists. Peer-tutoring will continue.·        February: Peer-tutoring program ends to allow tutors sufficient time to participate in EOG reviews.


Parent Letter        The letter that will be sent home to the parents or guardians of tutor and tutee candidates will give an explanation of the program, a list of the benefits for both tutors and tutees, and a permission slip that is to be signed and returned to school. Annotated BibliographyDowning, J., Brewer, R., Reid, M., & Rhine, B.   (2003). Peer Coaching: Student Teaching to Learn. Intervention in School & Clinic, 39(2), 113-126. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database.            Discusses the development of a collaborative project with the teachers from two elementary schools to assist them in implementing effective strategies for students with learning and behavior difficulties. Definition of the peer-coaching model; Steps in peer-coaching model; Teacher comments and observations.Wright, J., & Cleary, K. (2006). Kids in the tutor seat: Building schools' capacity to help struggling readers through a cross-age peer-tutoring program. Psychology in the Schools, 43(1), 99-107. doi:10.1002/pits.20133.            Increasingly, elementary schools across America are adopting peripheral intervention models that follow a structured problem-solving consultation process to reduce referrals to special education and to improve student academic outcomes. One feasible and affordable systems-level solution for a school that must deliver reading interventions of high quality to many children is an effective cross-age peer-tutoring program. The article provides guidelines for implementing an effective cross-age peer-tutoring program in a range of school settings.Youngerman, S. (1998). The power of cross-level partnerships. Educational Leadership, 56(1), 58. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database.            Reports on the implementation of cross-grade level student-teacher partnership program at Monroe Elementary School in Idaho. Impact of the program to the students; Goals for the implementation of the program; Program design; Benefits offered by the program to teachers.