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Tutor Touch-Up Training Sessions Build Skills to Help Students

By Carmine Stewart
Vice President of Programming, Seeds of Literacy

A tutor uses a globe to help a student.

Seeds of Literacy is now offering a series of “Tutor Touch-up” training sessions.

All of our tutors complete a six-hour training course before they begin tutoring. This initial tutor training helps to paint the big picture of the need for adult literacy education in America and the specific need here in Cleveland. That training also helps tutors learn about Seeds of Literacy and it prepares tutors for what they can expect in their first interaction with students. For the most part, this training is all our tutors need to assist our students.

However, as an organization we are committed to implementing the best research-based practices in the classroom. We encourage our staff to engage in professional development and we make a concerted effort to make those same learning opportunities available for tutors. These opportunities, which we’ve been calling “Tutor Touch-up” training sessions, are designed to focus on building tutors’ skills in very specific areas or to update them on new practices in place at Seeds of Literacy.

The topics for these trainings arise from research in the field, interesting conference sessions the staff has attended, new program initiatives and concerns that tutors bring to our attention as they are working with students. Our goal with the training sessions is to bring new information and skills that will help tutors work more efficiently and more effectively with students.

In December, Seeds of Literacy offered a training called “Phun with Fawnix” (Fun with Phonics) at both Seeds West and Seeds East. This session helped tutors gain the skills needed to do diagnostic reading assessments that help to identify each student’s specific learning needs in reading. Our goal is to provide students with a firm reading foundation to support their learning and personal goals. If you missed it in December, the training will be offered again in the spring.

In January, we are doing a second training focused around our digital literacy program. If you’re a regular reader of our blog, you might have seen that Seeds is attempting to make 2020 the year of digital literacy for our students. Digital literacy is an important skill for the 21st century as technology becomes more integrated into our everyday lives.

As our mission is “to provide personalized education that allows adults to succeed in their communities,” we have developed a program to help students succeed in this area as well. We have designed a program of learning in Course Sites, an online learning platform that will help students acquire the digital skills to support them in their future endeavors. In this training, we will teach tutors how to help us support students in their digital literacy learning. Tutors will learn how to log into the system and how to help students navigate the platform. For the digital literacy program, tutors don’t have to teach the skills; everything the students need to learn is already in the system. All tutors really need to be successful in supporting training is the willingness to learn.

A tutor helps students work at Seeds West.

If you are interested in attending the session, please contact carminestewart@seedsofliteracy.org, or call 216-661-7950 and ask for extension 131. If you are not a current tutor, but would like to become one, please contact sharonfarrer@seedsofliteracy.org or call 216-661-7950 and ask for extension 115.