The Settlement School has been offering an after-school tutoring program for over 40 years now. For 12 years, we have been using the Susan Barton Method for Reading and Spelling. The program has garnered success amongst our students, allowing them to thrive in their school work. The Barton Method consists of 10 different levels beginning with Phonemic Awareness and progressing into Greek Words and Latin Roots. In the past, parents and students met one night per week for 15 weeks. Parents were educated on the Barton Method and required to tutor a child that was not their own while another parent, also trained in the Barton method, was responsible for tutoring their child. We found that this was less stressful and yielded better results for both the parent and child.
Starting last fall, due to the inability to meet in person because of the pandemic, we switched our after-school program to a virtual platform, still using the Barton Method, with the help of an app called Whizzimo. Instead of parents doing the tutoring, we used our ReadingCorps members as tutors, and students met two times a week for 1 hour each night for 15 weeks. Using the Woodcock Reading Mastery Test, we documented an average gain of 5 months in word identification, nine months in word attack, and eight months in passage comprehension. In the spring, we changed our format and only met once per week for 2 hours each night for 15 weeks. We served 41 students this spring, including students from 12 counties in Kentucky and six students from Georgia. Using the Woodcock Reading Mastery Test, we documented an average gain of two months in word identification, five months in word attack, and five months in passage comprehension.
We plan and hope to go back to in-person tutoring in the fall for local students, but we will continue to offer virtual tutoring for those students who live further away. We will meet one night each week for 2 ½ hours with those students meeting in person with a half-hour of arts instruction between two hours of reading instruction. For virtual instruction, we are meeting two times each week for one hour each night as we felt that worked better.
If you are interested in having your child participate in our after-school program, you can schedule a screening for your child by calling Lema Gibson at 606-785-4022. Our next screening is on July 26, 2021.