Education

Library Offers Free Reading Tutors

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — A partnership with Ohio Reading Corps is bringing free reading tutors to the Boardman and Michael Kusalaba branches of The Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County starting Feb. 6.

For six weeks in February and March, Corps members will provide after-school reading tutoring for students in kindergarten through third grade. Tutors will be available Wednesdays from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Boardman Library and Michael Kusalaba Library on Feb. 6, 13, 20 and 27 as well as March 6 and 13. Registration is not required.

“The Library is pleased to be partnering with Ohio Reading Corps on this new offering,” said Aimee Fifarek, executive director of the library. “Our libraries are a wonderful place to connect students to a wide variety of reading and learning materials. We hope that our area’s students will take part in this program to strengthen their reading skills, which will strengthen their success in school.”

Reading tutoring is an “invaluable resource” for struggling students, said Sarah Laite, Ohio Reading Corps and Ohio Math Corps regional coordinator for the Mahoning County Educational Service Center. Laite worked with Pamela Brockway, the early learning team leader at the library, to arrange the tutoring program.

“In our schools, we have seen students jump an entire year in their reading level in just a few months,” Laite said. “Sometimes it is seeing that spark when a student finally gets the ‘a-ha!’ moment or declares their new-found love of reading.”

“This program builds on the Early Literacy skills that our librarians focus on in preschool story times,” Brockway added. “When children improve their reading skills, they will see that reading opens many doors.”

Ohio Reading Corps is a grant-funded AmeriCorps program. Members complete a year of service in Mahoning Valley school districts providing in-school tutoring to below-proficient students. The partner program, Ohio Math Corps, provides local math tutoring. Members are vetted, trained and supervised through the Mahoning County Educational Service Center.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.