Extending Literacy Beyond the School Day

Tiffany Randle is an educator in Pixley, California where she works with 6th grade students in the After School Education and Safety (ASES) program. She’s worked with ASES for the past four years and uses anything she can to get her kids to learn – from visuals and real life connections to hands-on, project-based learning. 

For Tiffany, it’s important that her students don’t feel like afterschool is just more regular school. She makes sure she can keep their attention but also learning, by using engaging lesson plans and activities. 

She started using Read to Lead in the 2018-2019 school year. At first, her students were hesitant. “The only thing the kids heard me say was ‘read? You want us to read in afterschool?!’,” remembers Tiffany. 

Their reluctance changed when her students realized Read to Lead was a game, and they were in control of the decisions they made in each episode. After a few months, her students completely took ownership of their gameplay. Read to Lead became an incentive for them to finish their homework early so they can spend time in the program.

As her students became more interested in Read to Lead, Tiffany started noticing their growth and improvement with literacy, vocabulary and comprehension. 

Read to Lead helped my students who were reluctant readers become much more confident,” said Tiffany. “When we first started, everyone was at the support level, but they immediately started improving. It helps that they can see their progress!” She found the Spanish language version to be particularly helpful for her English Language Learners (ELL) students. “I started hearing from their teachers that students were less reluctant to read, and that they were asking about vocabulary. Read to Lead has created an interest in reading that wasn’t there before!”

In addition to building their literacy skills, Tiffany’s students started to recognize the potential careers they could have. Read to Lead helped them understand what it takes to be the boss, and her students have shown increased comprehension of real world workplace environments. 

Initially, Tiffany intended on using Read to Lead for 15 minutes, two days per week. But when her students showed so much interest in the program, they started using it nearly every day. 

The Million Words Read Challenge was an incredible reward for her students. “I was so excited for my students, and their parents are so proud of them,” said Tiffany. “We couldn’t believe they had read a million words. How did it even happen? They were just having so much fun reading! It was a big step for us as a class!”

To learn more about this year’s Million Words Read Challenge and how you can participate, click here!