Fall River Public Schools announced a groundbreaking new partnership with Ignite Reading to provide virtual, one-to-one literacy tutoring to 300 first-grade students across six schools this fall. Nationally, Ignite Reading’s students have recorded an average of over two weeks of reading progress per week, with no achievement gap for students of colour, students with IEPs, multilingual learners, or students receiving free or reduced-price lunches.
Ignite Reading officials recently joined Fall River leaders and students at Mary L. Fonseca Elementary to highlight the nationally recognized programme. A Q&A session followed the demonstration. Ignite Reading is now available in 60 schools throughout the Commonwealth.
Fall River Public Schools (FRPS) serves an ethnically and socioeconomically diverse student population as an urban Gateway district in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 86% of the 10,987 students in Fall River Public Schools are identified as having High Needs. English learners account for 23.1% of all students, students with disabilities account for 25.9%, and economically disadvantaged students account for 79.9%. Its student body is 44.1% white, 31.8% Hispanic, 11.9% African American, 8.7% non-Hispanic multi-racial, 3.3% Asian, and 0.2% Native American.
Commenting on the partnership, Stephanie Kennedy, Director of English Language Arts K-12 of Fall River Public Schools, said:
We’re thrilled to announce a new innovative collaboration with Ignite Reading. Given how participating students have bolstered their foundational reading skills in Massachusetts and nationally with Ignite Reading, we are optimistic that this programme will supercharge literacy progress in Fall River.
Ignite Reading matches students with expert tutors who provide daily, 15-minute Science of Reading-based instruction to help them master the critical foundational skills that will prepare them to be independent readers. The one-to-one virtual programme integrates seamlessly into the school day and relieves teachers of the burden of providing individualized instruction to each student.
The company is now teaching thousands of students to read across eight states with further plans to expand nationwide. In addition to Massachusetts, Ignite Reading is partnering with schools and districts to serve thousands of students in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Indiana, Mississippi, New York, and Oregon this fall.
Jessica Reid Sliwerski, Founder & CEO of Ignite Reading, added:
We’re excited to expand our collaboration with Fall River schools to equip hundreds of local students with enhanced literacy skills. Through Ignite Reading’s one-to-one tutoring model, students nationwide surpass expected benchmarks, achieving more than two weeks of reading progress every week in the program. In addition to improved literacy, we also witness a significant and positive social-emotional impact. Serving Fall River’s exceptional students, families, and educational institutions is a privilege.
Ignite Reading, co-founded by Jessica Reid Sliwerski and Evan Marwell, aims to ensure that every student is a confident, independent reader by the end of first grade. Up to eighth grade, the platform has proven useful, providing districts a pathway and a safe space for older students to develop reading competence and strengthen foundational reading skills.