Emily is a local teacher and served as a volunteer tutor at GiGi’s Playhouse Annapolis. She worked one-on-one with Tim during the Fall Literacy 10-week session. Tim has completed high school and currently works part time stocking shelves in a grocery store which he really enjoys.
At the beginning of the tutoring session, Tim’s mom reported to Emily that he has never “broken the code” for reading and did not have a single sight word in his memory or that he could verbalize. Emily and Tim worked hard week after week, for an hour at a time, practicing and trying multi-sensory approaches to increase his language skills. After the Fall session had ended, his Mom came to the Playhouse one day to excitedly share that she was thrilled with Tim’s positive progress in GiGi’s educational reading program…
His mom grinned;
“We are unbelievably grateful for the GiGi’s Playhouse Literacy program. My son is 21 and I have tried many reading programs with him but this one has been by far the best! Timmy and his tutor clicked right off the bat and Timmy has been so excited to read his books. We were sitting in church, and for the first time ever, he was able to locate a word from one of his books in a different context. It was a simple word, “the” but he has never identified words outside of the source in which he has learned it before. The door is opening and I am so very grateful!”
The fact that Tim was able to generalize the word “the” was so exciting because it tells all of us that Tim has gained an understanding that letters together on a page have meaning and he has that specific word memorized! Now we know that we can continue working with Tim to add to his “word bank” and are confident that he will gain more words in his repertoire.
His family is a great support in encouraging him to keep working on his literacy skills at home. They have even created high interest books, similar to the GiGi’s family books, that are meaningful and relevant to Tim. He comes to the Playhouse weekly for tutoring and is always ready to learn. His new tutor Joan has high expectations every time they meet and Tim’s self-esteem is flying high! The sky’s the limit now! This is the power of “THE”!
If you would like to learn more about GiGi’s Playhouse One-on-One Literacy Tutoring Program please visit our website. Our Spring student application will open in Mid-May, with the 8-week session beginning the week of June 10th. Please note, ALL returning and new students need to apply each session as student and tutor schedules change. Applications are open now to become a volunteer Tutor.