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January 3, 2005 Extra Credit
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January 3, 2005

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NCLB’s Free Tutoring Provision Benefits Students In Immokalee, Florida

Under No Child Left Behind, low-income students in schools not meeting state academic standards in reading and math for three years in a row qualify for supplemental services such as free tutoring. The following are excerpts from a recent article in the Naples Daily News (FL) highlighting how students in Immokalee, Florida, are benefiting from free tutoring:

“Juana Maldonado goes from Immokalee farm fields to her home kitchen, her day deflating like air seeping from a balloon. Bedtime stories can be a luxury. But when her daughter, Marlena, 7, fell behind in reading, federal lawmakers extended their reach from Washington, D.C., to Immokalee to help Marlena and others like her.

“Tutors arrived at 80 struggling readers' homes for the first time this year, working around busy parents’ schedules, to improve not only the children's reading but to help the families. In Immokalee, the federal No Child Left Behind law has helped many. ‘Sometimes I’m in the fields until after 6, so she (the tutor) works around my schedule,’ the mother said.

“After completing the 12-week innovative program, organizers recently celebrated with a graduation ceremony for Pinecrest Elementary youngsters, who mastered new sounds, vocabulary and reading patterns on their living room couches. In a push to help students in low-performing schools, federal lawmakers require educators to offer tutoring after any school’s third year of grading as ‘needing improvement.’”

“For Pinecrest Elementary, there are nine tutors helping youngsters inside their homes. … The group [Parents To Kids] hires tutors who travel to a child’s home for an hour of one-on-one tutoring each week. Under federal guidelines, the district must allocate so much federal money toward the new tutoring programs. In Collier, it’s $600,000 or up to $1,128 per student.

“Teachers and parents have given anecdotal evidence that the tutoring works, said Donna DeHart, the Parents to Kids coordinator. … ‘Teachers have given good responses,’ DeHart said. ‘These children are volunteering to help others in the classroom read.’”

“During the recent graduation ceremony, each Pinecrest student received a backpack full of supplies donated by Immokalee residents. ‘My daughter is always drawing and writing her name — she loves those pencils,’ Juana Maldonado said. ‘I want her to be good in school and to accomplish as much as she can.’”

The complete text of this article is available online.

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NCLB Extra Credit is a regular look at the No Child Left Behind Act, President Bush's landmark education reform initiative passed with bipartisan support in Congress.

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Last Modified: 08/15/2007