A quick overview of First Grade First

The Challenge

Many students arrive at first grade already behind in their English literacy skills, sometimes because their homes are exclusively Spanish speaking, sometimes because of home life difficulties or poverty, or for any number of other reasons.  Statistics show that early reading achievement is a predictor of future success.  If an child affected by poverty is not reading at grade level by third grade, they are 13 times more likely NOT to finish high school.


The Strategy:  Assess, Individualize, Implement, Assess!

Plumfield works with kindergarten and first grade teachers to identify students who need help to catch up and keep up on their reading and writing.  We provide our own assessments, specific to phonetic reading and sight-word reading.  Once we identify kids who need our help, we provide one-on-one, methodical, tutoring for each of them, three days a week, during the school day.


The Results

  • Students consistently make an average of 1.4 school years’ progress for each year in the program.
  • Teachers report that the skills learned transfer extremely well to the classroom.
  • Reading interventionists and special education staff at the schools routinely refer students to the First Grade First program as part of their individual plans for their students.

The People

Plumfield provides a site coordinator at each school to coach and lead a team of volunteer tutors.   Volunteers are drawn from the community surrounding the school, volunteering at least one day per week throughout the school year.


The Community Opportunity

Plumfield never charges the schools, students or families we serve.  Instead, we work with the community to provide the necessary funds and volunteers.  No prior experience is necessary for volunteers – we provide training, volunteer-friendly curriculum and coaching!

For more information, use our contact information or use one of the Take Action links on the left to start the conversation!



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