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Insights to accelerating youth tutoring through the power of community partnerships.

Investment in high-impact tutoring in the U.S. is nearly $42 billion. Schools are actively pursuing tutoring solutions to accelerate learning, particularly after two years of interrupted schooling due to COVID-19. This need poses a challenge that schools cannot address alone.

High-impact tutoring also known as target instruction, tier-one or high-dosage tutoring is the intervention of choice according to research by the National Student Support Accelerator (NSSA).

The role of high-impact tutoring at the community level.

Tutoring programs can create substantial community impact while building close relationships with children and their families. According to NSSA, tutors should be “culturally competent and reflect the lived experience of the students they serve.” While high-impact tutoring is embedded in schools, it can occur anytime before, during or after the school day. Schools need to expand their capacity to meet this moment engaging YMCAs, JCCs and recreation programs already in their community as strong strategic partners.

How can my organization help?

Key actions that position community-based organizations as highly valued partners to their local schools include:  

Expand capacity: More students need tutoring than those that receive it, creating a “need gap.” Out-of-school-time programs are well situated to step into this gap by providing both space and staff — two key capacity needs.

Prove money well spent: According to a recent national EdWeek Market Brief survey, evidence and data proving learning gains is a top consideration for schools when selecting academic intervention providers.

Promote flexibility: There is no-one-size-fits-all approach. Community-based organizations best understand the lived experiences of the children in their neighborhoods and can build strong relationships more quickly from that foundation.

Create sustainability: Your organization’s ability to create a year-round sustainable model fueled by continued funding signals both the viability and impact your organization brings to the partnership.

While the need to support local schools with high-impact tutoring is significant, it also offers the opportunity to segue programs into a year-round approach with evidence-based solutions that create more continuity between the school year and summer.

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Damon Johnson

Damon Johnson is the senior vice president of strategic alliances of BellXcel and leads the organization’s cultivation of relationships and partnerships with government agencies, community-based organizations and policy/advocacy groups. For more information visit bellxcel.org.

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