By Powerful Schools (RVP sponsor)
RAINIER VALLEY – Tina Wen, a first grader at John Muir Elementary, is a super-star reader! In fact, Tina loves reading so much that she has read 174 books this spring alone!
However, Tina wasn’t always this passionate about books. After struggling with reading and vocabulary as a kindergartener, Tina was placed in the Powerful Schools’ Learning Intervention program at the beginning of first grade. This program provides students with 30 minutes of one-on-one reading tutoring a day, four days a week, throughout the school year. All tutoring is provided by a caring adult, trained to support students in establishing foundational reading skills. In most cases, students work with the same tutor all year, providing them with consistent support and a strong mentoring relationship.
“Tina was one of the most amazing students I have ever had the pleasure of working with,” said Tina’s tutor, Mary Robello. “When she came to me she was a total non-reader, but by the time we finished working together she was reading well into the second grade level. Tina was able to do this because she possesses an unbeatable combination of attributes: enthusiasm, focus, plus supportive and involved parents. Tina is now a veracious reader and is not only a great kid, but also a wonderful student.”
Tina is now reading chapter books and says reading is her favorite after school activity. Her favorite books are the ones that end with the characters living “happily ever after.” She contributes much of her progress to the help she received from Mary and her teacher, Carrie Lam.
“The encouragement and support that Tina received from her tutor was invaluable and she has taken great pride in her accomplishments,” said Ms. Lam.
When she’s not reading, Tina likes to cook with her mom or jump rope. Her favorite colors are yellow and orange because they are the brightest and she says both colors remind her of the sun. Tina’s parents are originally from China, which has given Tina not only the opportunity to visit her grandparents and other family in China, but also to fluently speak Cantonese.
While unsure of exactly what she wants to be when she grows up, Tina does thinks it would be nice to be a doctor because if any of her friends or family members got sick she could help them. Also, inspired by her experience with Mary, Tina would like to be a tutor someday, so she can help kids like her read!
Powerful Schools is an award winning non-profit that has been working to close the achievement gap by creating partnerships with local public schools for over 20 years. Through literacy programs, arts and after-school classes, Powerful Schools’ works with more than 4,000 children and their families in 12 Seattle and South King County elementary schools and five CDSA preschools.
The “Powerful People” series is a way for Powerful Schools to highlight – through the Rainier Valley Post – some of the work its talented students, instructors and volunteers are accomplishing in the Rainier Valley.
A first grader at John Muir Elementary, Tina has improved her reading skills tremendously from last school year and is now a passionate and enthusiastic reader, finishing 174 books during the spring alone! Photo/Powerful Schools