Blog

Reading Turns a Frown Around

All of our tutors are guided by the Literacy First staff supervisors, who have years of teaching experience. In practice, this means that they not only understand the intricacies of teaching reading and the importance of literacy to lifelong learning, but they also help our tutors build strong and caring relationships with students. This support […]

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Education and Equality: Meet Sam Zigrossi

  Sam Zigrossi was reflecting on his family background. His father and both sets of grandparents immigrated to the United States from Italy, and the new life that they built for themselves here led Sam to believe that education is “how you can make your way in the world.” It’s hardly surprising to hear Sam […]

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We Call Them AmeriCorps Members

In recent news, there’s been a lot of talk about what “national service” means. National service programs like AmeriCorps are part of the Corporation for National and Community Service , which is currently in the spotlight as the federal budget reaches its April 28 announcement date. At Literacy First, we see the impact of national […]

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Protecting Her Literacy Legacy: Alumni Amy Akiyama Gives Back

When she was a tutor, Amy Akiyama’s favorite children to work with were the most challenging students.     “Those kids took extra effort to work with,” she remembers, “but in the end…I’ll never forget them.” She loved the challenge of communicating difficult reading concepts to children who were dealing with the learning disadvantages of living in […]

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What It Sounds Like When a Child Doesn’t Know How to Read

Last month, I sat one-on-one with about 50 kindergarten, first, and second grade students at the elementary school where I work to find out if their reading skills matched those required for their grade level, or if they might qualify for some extra reading help. I am a new tutor with Literacy First, an organization […]

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Goodbye ACE, or, “With Endings Come New Beginnings”

  One of the joys of working in a program that runs on the school year’s schedule is having an annual opportunity to reflect and “begin again.” Each June, we celebrate the amazing accomplishments of the past year. Then we quickly turn our attention to preparing for the next school year: the detailed work of […]

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Five Reasons Why Illiteracy is Scary

If you can’t read, life can be pretty scary. Here are five reasons why everyone deserves to learn to read. 5. You can’t play Bananagrams™. Or Wheel of Fortune™. Or Boggle™. Or Scrabble™. Or nearly any board games. And if you can’t play board games, how are you supposed to survive the holidays with your […]

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Still Figuring It Out: My AmeriCorps Gap Year

Literacy First is perfect for those seeking a “gap year” experience: that year after you get your bachelor’s degree but aren’t quite sure what you’re supposed to do with it yet. Many AmeriCorps members arrive to our program knowing they want to gain one-on-one experience teaching public school children in a low-income, urban community before […]

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Hidden Gem at UT Not So Hidden Anymore

A childhood literacy program at the Charles A. Dana Center is no longer the best-kept secret among outreach programs at The University of Texas at Austin. Literacy First, a program that sends over 100 full-time AmeriCorps tutors into public elementary schools every year to teach Austin’s youngest children how to read, has recently been recognized at […]

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