Powerful Schools Programs
Powerful Schools is committed to helping struggling young readers gain the skills they need to succeed. We provide one-on-one tutoring, otherwise beyond the financial reach of some of the families we serve. Powerful Schools recruits and trains reading tutors from the community, using proven curricula developed by Washington Research Institute.
Tutors receive 20 hours of training to become professional reading specialists. They sign on for a full school year, providing consistency which is critical to success of a child's reading growth. Within a year, more than 90% of children we tutor have made measurable progress in their reading proficiency. Powerful Schools also helps children become confident, lifelong writers by making sure that their teachers are experts in writing instruction.
We breathe life into core subject matter by infusing it with the arts through integrated arts residencies. Finally we envision schools as vibrant community hubs, which stay open after 3 pm and invite the community inside. Our after-school program keeps kids off the streets with fun & educational classes like foreign language, circus skills, photography, gymnastics, math, science, computer and choir.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
Today, Powerful Schools serves more than 4,300 children a year while still maintaining its tradition of creating strong relationships with its students, their families, educators and the community at large. Staff is in constant contact with teachers and school administers to best understand each school’s individual alignment plans and how Powerful Schools can best support school and teacher goals.
For example, at Hawthorne School--a school with a bilingual center and a focus on arts and multi-cultural learning-- Powerful Schools Education Director, Jeannie Collins-Brandon, together with a team of Teaching Artists, is working with school leadership and staff to develop a K-5 integrated arts curriculum around "Talking Walls." These units of study will integrate visual arts instruction with multi-cultural and social studies, covering the school walls with student art that tells the richly varied stories of the students and families who make up the Hawthorne community.
Demand for our services continues to outpace our ability to meet the needs of our students, families and schools. There are dozens of struggling readers waiting to receive reading tutoring. $200 provides four weeks of tutoring for one child reading below grade level. Many children lack quality opportunities after the school day ends. $50 allows one child to attend an after-school class which will help him/her build confidence and expose him/her to opportunities beyond their immediate reach!