Alexandria, VA

The Alexandria Tutoring Consortium has launched a fundraising campaign to continue a virtual program that teaches young children how to read.

The 24-year-old nonprofit needs $22,000 to fund a leveled reading program that started after its personalized literacy tutoring program was shifted online after the pandemic hit the city in March. So far, Burke and Herbert Bank donated $1,000 to kick things off, and donations can be made on the ATC website.

“This has been a trying time,” said ATC Board Chair Yvonne Folkerts, who is also a former chair of the Alexandria School Board. “Yet despite the challenges, our tutors remained dedicated, the parents supported our virtual needs, our staff stayed true to our mission, and the students have benefitted.”

ATC, which uses a University of Virginia curriculum, was tutoring 128 students in its “Book Buddies” program last March. It was able to connect with 102 of those students when the virtual program started in late April. Now, the nonprofit estimates that 84% of those kindergarten and first graders will be reading on grade level.

With the entire school system going virtual this fall, the leveled readers will replace books that are kept in the classroom.

“Our staff has decided leveled readers are the best choice for a virtual program and therefore we intend to find the resources to provide this literacy tool for these young readers,” Folkerts said.

Photo via ATC/Facebook

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