Innovations for Learning, a national nonprofit, has been working for more than 20 years to help primary grade teachers be more effective in their pivotal task of teaching students to read.
Why is learning to read so pivotal? Repeated research shows that students who can’t read proficiently by third grade become highly susceptible to larger setbacks as they grow older. Without the basic skill of reading, they are more likely to struggle throughout their school years, drop out of school and become enmeshed in the criminal justice system.
Our nation’s promise of equal opportunity is substantially extinguished for millions of students who fail to read proficiently in these first years of school.
Our nonprofit is dedicated to reversing that, by supporting the people most responsible for helping students learn to read: teachers. We provide educators with an array of innovative resources to substantially improve reading skills in underperforming schools.
We work with nearly 10,000 students in many of the nation’s largest urban school districts. We seek tangible, replicable results such as 18-point reading score gains in Chicago and 14-point reading score gains in Washington, DC.
Our TutorMate System features a unique program that pairs volunteer office workers with children in classrooms, connecting them remotely through telephones and computers. A tutor works with a student for a half-hour a week, each viewing the same page on their respective computer screens, reading stories and playing games that build fluency, comprehension, phonics and spelling skills.
More than 200 corporations, universities and governmental agencies participate in our TutorMate program in 24 major metropolitan areas across the country.
Our innovations extend to the way we provide coaching, funding, and parent involvement. We seek to connect through technology the entire village that is required to raise a child.
We are not innovating for innovation’s sake. A lack of innovation has left millions of children and adults in this generation illiterate. The next generation should and can be better served.