This article was published in The Fresno Bee Newspaper on September 6, 2013

Tutoring Helps Students

By Jenny Brietigam

In response to the Aug. 26 letter, "After-school tutoring is not the answer," I'd like to give another perspective.

After-school tutoring may not be the "end-all-be-all" for all struggling students, but at Reading and Beyond we have seen firsthand how after-school tutoring has positively impacted thousands of local students.

We work with economically disadvantaged students who are oftentimes three to five grade levels behind and provide these students with tutoring after school. The California Department of Education (2012-13) reports that only 33% of economically disadvantaged third-grade students are reading proficiently in Fresno County. Schools are struggling. Students are behind. When unaddressed, the ripple effects of this show up in our colleges and labor pools.

To say that extra academic support outside of the school day is unhelpful or unnecessary simply isn't true. If schools could do it alone, we wouldn't see such dire statistics from the state and our organization wouldn't have such a long waiting list. Based on our experience at Reading and Beyond, providing struggling students with a one-on-one tutor who understands the students' needs and continually monitors progress is extremely effective in helping students gain confidence and reach their grade-level.

[Jenny Brietigam is the Manager of K-12 Programs for Reading and Beyond.]

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