What We Do
Studies have shown that by the end of third grade, students should be ready to read for learning, and not learning how to read. A study released by The Annie E. Casey Foundation reveals that the level of reading skills children develop by the end of third grade may indicate their likelihood of graduating high school. Students who don't read proficiently by the end of third grade are four times
more likely to leave school without a diploma when compared to proficient readers. Add poverty to the mix and those children are 16 times more likely not to graduate. Chicago Family Directions is dedicated to improving the reading skills of homeless and impoverished students in the Chicagoland area. Early childhood reading with the CFD-iRead digital foundational reading program created by Scholastic Corporation is designed to close the achievement gap before it begins and place K-2 students on a predictable path to college and career readiness.
For children in temporary living situations or whose families live close to the poverty level, inconsistency is a way of life - uncertain where they will sleep, what they will eat, who will be home. Chicago Family Directions works with the school and community to bring consistency in their lives - consistently showing up, consistently encouraging, consistently caring.
Chicago Family Directions' goal is to follow the students from year to year, through high school, preparing them for college, careers and an adult life without homelessness.
To be a volunteer, no prior tutoring experience is necessary. Chicago Family Directions provides online training and weekly lesson plans with instructions. At-risk children improve substantially when they are provided with one on one attention so we aim to keep tutoring groups small - one on one when possible, or two students with each tutor. The kids are bright and intelligent but underprivileged. Our tutors make a huge difference in their lives. For more information on volunteering, see the "Volunteer" page on this website.
Chicago Family Directions using the Learning A to Z reading program. The multifaceted dimensions of reading require certain foundational components of reading be addressed. These include alphabet recognition, phonological awareness, high-frequency word recognition and phonics. While foundational skills are being mastered, attention begins to shift to the skills and strategies of fluency, vocabulary and most importantly, comprehension. While teachers acknowledge that different children learn in different ways and at different rates, we should not lose sight of the fact that there are certain skills all children need to know.
Chicago Family Directions provides tutor packets filled with reading resources and clear instructions written for volunteer reading tutors. The lessons provide step-by-stop instructions for using the resources.
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