Meet Mary - a 9 year old girl with a bubbly personality and a participant in Choice for All’s Student Success Center, a program supported by United Way of Long Island. Mary’s mother was referred to the program by a community member that had a child in the program with similar academic concerns. Mary’s mom is a single mother of two with Mary being the youngest. She expressed concerns about Mary’s struggle with reading comprehension, decoding and spelling. She has to work two jobs because her eldest is on his way to college and she doesn’t have the extra time for Mary as she did with her first child. As she scored a “1” (Needs Improvement) on her ELA state examination two years in a row, both Mary’s mother and the teacher had concerns with Mary meeting curriculum expectations.
Choice for All was able to provide a full academic evaluation to determine Mary’s current academic functioning, as well as met with her teacher to get Mary back on track. Mr. Troy, her assigned Student Success Coach and Ms. Felicity, the Center’s Program Director, sat down with Mary’s mother to discuss implementation ofthe academic plan. This included being assigned one-on-one tutoring two days a week to work on decoding and comprehension skills, with the remaining of the week in small group supports. Mr. Troy asked Mary and her mother if they agreed with the goals of the academic plan. Mary responded quickly, “Mr. Troy, I just don’t know how I am going to pass the ELA test. I’ve tried so much, but I feel like teachers think I just don’t care. I do, I just don’t know how to go about it. That’s why I am here, right?” Mr. Troy responded, “We will do everything we can to help you, Mary.”
With the targeted interventions and monthly tracking on her reading skills, Mary’s teacher reported at the end of the school year she showed significant growth in her reading and writing skills. Mary, too, was excited as she ran into the Student Success Center. Mr. Troy asked, “Mary, what’s wrong?” She responded, “Mr. Troy, I got a 3 on my ELA practice test! My teacher almost cried- she was so happy. I’m happy, too!”