Launching Literacy is a partnership between Assistance League of Long Beach and Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD).  Underserved children in grades K-1 in need of extra individualized reading instruction are selected by district personnel.  Our trained volunteers work with the children on pre-reading skills in small groups using lessons developed by literacy coaches.

LBUSD teachers report:

“The small group format and well-planned lessons were great, and the children loved working with the volunteers. They were very excited every time they saw a volunteer arrive.”

 One of the volunteers said:

As for the books we gave them on the last day, the kids were over the moon.  They had no problem writing their names on the ALLB book plate.  They turned the pages in their own books along with me as I read….They all hugged their books tightly against their chests when we walked back to the classroom and immediately put them in their backpacks.”

Assistance League of Long Beach’s newest program, Launching Literacy, is a partnership with the Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD). The program is dedicated to helping those children who come to school not as prepared to learn as middle-class children. We all know reading well is essential for success in life. Research shows that children who lack reading skills are more likely to be identified for Special Education and are thirteen times more likely to drop out of high school.

Thirty-five trained member volunteers are working diligently to help underserved kindergarten and first grade students on their way to literacy. The program is currently serving children in three schools chosen by the district to serve the most appropriate population. Students work in groups of 4 to 6 with our volunteers two days per week in six-week sessions on phonemes (sounds) and phonics (letters and words). During each lesson volunteers read aloud a district-provided book to the children, and at the end of the six-week session each child is presented with a book from Assistance League to take home.

LBUSD provides 6 hours of valuable training for the volunteers, allowing all to be fully confident of their teaching skills. LBUSD literacy experts pre-test students for identification in the groups and post-test after each session to be sure we’re accomplishing our goal. The post-test data additionally gives us information for next steps in the program. To date, the children have made progress in all foundational reading skills.

Launching Literacy volunteers are proud to be part of the effort to provide early childhood education for all children and believe our unique partnership will ensure the best possible outcome. There are many wonderful facets to Assistance League and this program provides a whole new dimension in our service to the children of Long Beach.