THe leap approach
Our LEAP Reading Intervention Program is a free after-school literacy program that is comprised of two separate one-hour sessions (serving approximately 16-20 students in each session), held four days a week, at four Title I campuses in the Tustin Unified School District. To be eligible for our program, students must be identified by their teachers as reading significantly below grade level. All of our LEAP students are economically disadvantaged, and most are first or second-generation English Learners.
LEAP has put much thought and deliberation into designing a very unique curriculum that specifically addresses the acute and growing literacy deficiencies among our student population. LEAP tutors work closely with our students in groups of four, based on the student's current reading level, and carefully observe and address individual strengths and weaknesses. This small group composition is one of the key elements to our program. Research has found that students who receive focused attention and nurturing on a consistent basis, from a well-trained and highly-qualified tutor, are much more motivated and likely to succeed.
Our LEAP staff strive to meet the needs and interests of all students in each group by carefully selecting texts, based on the group's instructional level, that are interesting and engaging. Another important research-based component is that our tutors teach literacy skills and strategies within the context of reading authentic text. Our reading groups do not work on isolated skills or worksheets, which have proven to be ineffective. Instead, students spend a significant portion of each one-hour session reading and responding in discussions that promote a deeper level of comprehension.
LEAP students are taught and modeled the critical skills they need to be successful readers, as well as the grit and determination to overcome obstacles—these are transformative qualities that will shape and serve our students well beyond the classroom.