Innovations for Learning

Innovations for Learning’s goal is to provide frequent, high-impact tutoring by trained interventionists working with K-1st Grade students 1:1 to create a solid phonics foundation, sight word acquisition, fluency, and comprehension.

Before the pandemic, many students at Sylvan R. Rodriguez, Jr. Elementary School in Houston were reading well below grade level. Reading fluency in English and phonetic awareness were challenging for students and teachers, most of whom spoke Spanish as their first language.

Lulu DeAnda, Rodriguez principal, turned to Innovations for Learning (IFL) for help. In fall 2019, trained IFL tutors joined two classes of bilingual Kindergarteners. The in-person daily tutoring focused on phonics knowledge and word attack skills, helping students build strong foundations in reading English.

When learning—and the IFL interventions—shifted online in March 2020, DeAnda, the teachers and IFL tutors quickly discovered that remote tutoring for a student population on lockdown in Spanish-speaking households was a challenge for teaching reading skills in English. The school made the difficult decision to pause the IFL program for 2020-21.

In fall 2021, the Rodriquez community doubled down on IFL, adding IFL for the entire K and 1st Grade, 12 classrooms total. The IFL tutors are rolling along. Literally. They use a wheeled table and follow students to P.E. and other classes for immersive intervention. After each session, the students do 15 minutes of independent practice and skills reinforcement. The program’s depth, the tutors’ expertise, and the strong relationships between tutor and student have sparked reading skill growth that’s nothing short of astronomical, says DeAnda, who plans to add IFL in 2nd Grade for the 2022-23 year.

“K-2nd is where the cracks begin to show if reading skills aren’t strong, and IFL ensures that the reading base is solid for the upper grades. Our students now have confidence to read without assistance. IFL is having an impact on their reading and creating lifelong readers.”

Lulu DeAnda, Principal, Sylvan R. Rodriguez, Jr. Elementary School

Innovations for Learning:

  • IFL directly recruits and trains college graduates as tutors
  • Interventionists tailored to student’s needs and amount of intervention needed
  • Each student has the same tutor for K and 1st Grade
  • IFL provides software adaptable to all laptop and tablet platforms
  • IFL curriculum includes IFL-created and tested-for-30-years software with Reading Foundation Stages (RFS)/sequenced skills that drive students’ literacy practice
  • Ongoing IFL assessments to track several metrics for a child’s reading stage/progress
  • Cost/classroom includes tutor, materials, and professional development
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