The Silver Lining

"As an organization, we knew we had to make the investments needed to continue working with students who were behind grade level in reading before the pandemic, and to serve larger numbers of students in the years to come- students who have fallen behind as a result of the pandemic."

Executive Director

Executive Director

Augustine Literacy Project

Augustine Literacy Project

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The choice Augustine Literacy Project faced when in-person schooling stopped abruptly in March was to suspend our services until circumstances returned to normal, or to reinvent our programming for virtual delivery.

There was really no choice: given that intensive tutoring could help prevent significant learning losses predicted for all students, but particularly for those in under-resourced areas, we knew we had to rise to meet this challenge.

As an organization, we knew we had to make the investments needed to continue working with students who were behind grade level in reading before the pandemic and to serve larger numbers of students in the years to come- students who have fallen behind as a result of the pandemic.

To pivot to a new way of tutoring on a virtual platform, we added staff, invested in necessary technology, and conducted pilot programs so that we could retrain over 100 current tutors and train new tutors.

We couldn’t have done this without our incredibly dedicated tutors, the support of our funders, and a deep partnership with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

The silver lining to this difficult year is that we’ve discovered that virtual tutoring works even better than we had imagined. For many volunteers, it is easier than on-site tutoring, which will enable us to serve more students in the years to come. In fact, when in-person tutoring resumes fully, we will offer both in-person AND virtual tutoring.

It was a joy to hear how happy our Augustine students and tutors were when they reunited online. One-on-one tutoring can be life-changing, particularly when circumstances are challenging.

- Alison Houser

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