Indy Learning Team, MLK Center Program Targets Low Literacy Rates – WISH-TV | Indianapolis News | Indiana Weather forecast

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INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indy Learning Team continues its mission to break what they call the cycle of low literacy. At the end of the school year, the organizers will welcome the learners of the summer session.

The pandemic has had a detrimental effect on students in all fields, with black and brown students most often the hardest hit. A partnership between the MLK Center and the Indy Learning Team hopes to improve those odds by providing individual reading support.

Learning to read during a pandemic has been difficult, especially difficult for children in kindergarten through third grade.

“Our goal here at the MLK Center is to get kids reading at the grade level,” said LaCrisha Hollins, MLK Center’s after-school coordinator.

In these early years of learning to read, students often need a lot of individual support. The virtual classrooms where many children started their learning process have not been enough.

“We have a lot of kids in first grade who may have missed kindergarten and kindergarten kids who missed kindergarten,” Hollins said.

Throughout the year, volunteer tutors are put in contact with young readers.

“It was a challenge for us to help them get the sound of the letters and then start blending so they could read,” Hollins said.

At the end of the school year, they prepare for summer support. They hope to welcome 50 children.

“We partnered with School 43, so we’ll start there. We still offer zone programs for children outside of school 43. Those in ZIPs 46208 and 46205,” Hollins said.

Advocates say it’s essential to continue the learning process in the summer. Kids who are new to reading and go the whole summer without practicing could potentially lose a year of progress.

Representatives say that having a diverse pool of tutors also helps the learning process, as some students tend to be more receptive to tutors who look like them.

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