Brock Learning Lab offers in person and online tutoring this winter

The Brock Learning Lab (BLL) is offering its literacy and numeracy tutoring programs in person and online this winter for local K-12 students who need extra reading and math support.

The winter 2022 tutoring programs will run from Jan. 31 to April 8 (excluding Brock’s Reading Week and March Break). Clients will work with their tutors once or twice a week during afternoons or evenings. Registration will open Monday, Dec. 20 and families can learn more about BLL program fees and sign up on the BLL website.

The one-on-one literacy and numeracy tutoring programs are delivered by Brock Concurrent Teacher Education students, volunteers and BLL interns. Tutors use evidence-based strategies and instructional methods — such as games and technology — tailored to the unique needs of their clients.

Tiffany Gallagher, Professor of Educational Studies and Director of the Brock Learning Lab, said interruptions in learning caused by COVID-19 have impacted basic reading skills and fluency.

“We are recognizing that many of our clients have some pronounced challenges with reading and the ability to read smoothly,” said Gallagher. “We have been incorporating some new strategic approaches into our programming and in the winter we will be adopting a few new screening tools, including an informal phonics assessment.”

Clients who struggle with fluency may tend to add in extra words when reading out loud, for example. BLL tutors are equipped with strategic approaches, such as having a client read text silently first and then out loud to help build their fluency and comprehension skills.

“Although tutors work closely with clients toward specific learning goals, the strategies tutors use ultimately help to foster clients’ perseverance and confidence,” said Catherine Susin, an instructor in the Faculty of Education and the incoming administrative co-ordinator and literacy assistants co-ordinator at the BLL.

Many BLL tutors are students in the Faculty of Education’s Concurrent Teacher Education program and participate as tutors as part of a Reading and Literacy Development course. Other Brock students volunteer or intern with the BLL to gain experience teaching K-12 learners.

Brock faculty and teachers supervise tutoring sessions and help tutors with lesson planning and reflections. Tutors are provided with training, support and resources, including a number of digital educational resources.

“Whether they are tutoring in an online setting or face-to-face, we have been able to support our tutors in developing the skills necessary in navigating and using digital resources,” said Susin.

Online sessions will take place on Microsoft Teams while in-person sessions will be offered at the Brock Research and Innovation Centre. The BLL team has worked closely with Brock’s Health, Safety and Wellness department to ensure distancing, barriers, PPE, sanitization and contact tracing protocols are in place for in-person tutoring.

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