Gannon University’s School of Education Supports Tutoring Program at Little Villa
Posted: May 27, 2014
Ten students in Gannon University's School of Education worked
with students at Villa Maria Elementary School during the Spring
Semester to improve their reading and writing skills.
The Gannon students from the Literacy for Students with
Exceptionalities class taught by Jill Merritt, Ph.D., were matched
with Villa students for two hours twice a week with one-on-one
instruction. At each session, the Gannon students helped the
younger students who had been struggling with their reading,
writing, and phonics skills.
The project grew out of a meeting that Merritt, along with her
School of Education colleague Janice Whiteman, had with Villa Maria
Elementary principal Damon Finazzo.
"We conducted an evaluation of strengths and weaknesses prior to
the program, then created a framework to document the students'
progress," Merritt said. "We saw a great deal of learning taking
place and are excited to see these students learn and progress in
their skills. We are looking forward to collaborating with the
children's classroom teachers to assist in reinforcing the skills
being worked on in the classroom."
"For 10 kids to stay after school for almost two hours, twice a
week--and like it-is really something. The Gannon students liked
working with our students, and our teachers, who always wish they
could have more time to offer help to our students were gratified
to know that the kids were able to get some good solid reading
support," Finazzo said.
"The most impressive result was the self-confidence of the kids
in the classrooms. Some also had marked improvement in fluency, but
the increase in self-confidence and the ability to use difference
in strategies to be able to read in front of their peers is the
biggest difference this program made."