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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Aggies help elementary students build stronger reading skills

Photo by Provided

The Reading Clinic at Jones Elementary school. Photo Credits to the College of Education and Human Development.

The Reading Clinic is helping students with their reading by offering an after school program at two Bryan ISD elementary schools.
This Fall, the College of Education and Human Development is hosting their Reading Clinic, in which students from A&M work with second, third and fourth graders to improve their reading skills. The Clinic meets at two elementary schools, Jones Elementary and Fannin Elementary, Monday through Wednesday for an hour after the school day.
Clinic director Sam Von Gillern has been a clinical assistant professor in A&M’s teaching, learning and culture department since last spring. After arriving, he immediately began working on how to implement  the reading clinic in Bryan ISD.
“Last semester was a pilot run”, Von Gillern said. “This fall, we’ve established a more formal established partnership with Bryan ISD.”
After a test run in the spring, Von Gillern said the clinic established a more formal partnership with Bryan ISD for the current semester.
“[The students participating] have been identified by their teachers and principals as being able to benefit from additional reading instruction,” Von Gillern said.
A&M students in Von Gillern’s Reading 468 course act as tutors at the reading clinic. The tutors create a lesson plan for each session and prepare activities to further help with the young students’ reading and writing.
“My role as a tutor is to help the students I work with reach the reading proficiency level they are supposed to be at for their grade,” said early childhood education junior Courtney Wiederhold.

Von Gillern said he wants to see the reading clinic improved and perfected before expanding the program to other elementary schools in the area.
“We’re trying to get a solid program built and have a system we can use as we move forward”, Von Gillern said.
In the future, Von Gillern hopes to have more Reading 468 classes involved in tutoring. With more tutors, the clinic will be able to expand to other schools in the Bryan ISD district.
“Right now, we’d rather keep it relatively small and focused so we can do a good job at establishing a system that works and  then we can take that model and bring it to other schools,” Von Gillern said.
The tutors of the clinic are happy that they are helping students advance their reading skills, said early childhood education junior Katherine Panagopoulos.
“Every time I go work with these children, I can see them improve and catch on to tasks we learned about previously and it brings so much joy to me,” Panagopoulos said.
Elementary education junior Mary Hope Pearson said volunteering has given her unique opportunities to see students improve.
It is a privilege to work with and help children of many different education backgrounds and learning techniques,” Pearson said. “It has been a joy to witness the children grow and develop in their studies.”

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