John Jezzini Introducing Adolescent Literacy

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4 months ago | 5 min read

John Jezzini Introducing Adolescent Literacy in Out-Of-School-Time Programs

John Jezzini Providers of after-school and summer programs are increasingly interested in improving teenagers' reading skills via organized out-of-school time (OST) activities. Schools and community organizations have developed after-school remedial tutoring programs to help students failing behind, while text-rich activities are incorporated into project-based youth development programs to provide highly motivated young people with opportunities to practice reading and writing. In this interview with John Jezzini, Founder of Jezzini Learning Center, we will learn more about these remedial literacy initiatives.

Q: John Jezzini, what are the remedial literacy initiatives available for young people?

A: Literacy and academic development programs, academic enhancement programs, literacy enhancement programs, and social development programs are the four categories of adolescent literacy efforts that we describe.

Q:  Can you briefly explain these initiatives?

A: To begin, the OST literacy and academicdevelopment programs for young individuals focus on individuals who areperforming academically below grade level. Students seldom opt to enroll inliteracy development programs independently but are often recommended to these services by a parent or a teacher.

The literacy and academic development program's major purpose is to assist pupils who score below basic in reading and writing to obtain the abilities needed to succeed in school. One-on-one and subgroup tutoring is the most popular type of OST literacy education. This type of intervention is sometimes referred to as remediation because it is presumed that the person in need of intervention did not know the skill when it was first taught (or mediated) and thus requires a repetition of the teaching or mediating that should have happened at a younger age or stage of development.

Q: John Jezzini can you shed light on Literacy enhancement?

A: The goal of OST literacy improvementprograms is to educate adolescents in reading and writing exercises in perfectlearning settings. Students join in activities freely and come from diverseacademic backgrounds. The literacy enhancement program's principal goal is topique students' curiosity and passion for text-rich situations.

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Literacyimprovement initiatives anticipate that this excitement will convert intoincreased academic performance or willingness to read and write, but theseprograms seldom give formal reading teaching to people suffering fromfundamental literacy skills. Instead, they engage youth in literacy activities,believing that young people would improve their reading abilities since theywill require such skills to effectively complete the program's activities.

Q: John Jezzini how do you integrate academic enhancement because it is a remedialinitiative?

A: Several initiatives emphasize literacydevelopment as part of a bigger effort to improve pupils' academic successoutside school. We refer to them as academic enhancement programs because theirpurposes are often dual: to provide a secure, organized after-school environmentfor kids to develop their social skills and provide educational enrichment toimprove students' academic ability. Participants may differ in ability, although some programs target the least performing students. In contrast toliteracy/academic development and literacy improvement programs, acquiringreading and writing abilities is not important to program goals, although itmay still be addressed via various educational activities.

High-quality academic improvement programsprovide a full enrichment menu of activities, frequently allowing students toselect which activities they want to engage in. The sessions combine homeworkassistance with exciting project-based educational activities. These activitiesalso offer students entertainment and leisure time while emphasizing thenecessity of developing caring adult relationships among students, staff, andvolunteers.

Q: So you mentioned Social development; how does it add value to the literacydevelopment of these young adolescents?

A: Out-of-school time programs for socialdevelopment strive to promote kids' social and emotional development, such asskills for resolving conflicts or character building, with a reduced focus onacademics. However, social development programs' organized activities may need a certain reading proficiency.

For example, participants on a camping trip may be requested to write in a notebook about their daily experiences. However,unlike academic enhancement initiatives, most social development programs still need to incorporate standards-based educational content into their activitieswith the specific goal of increasing grades or achievement scores, nor do theytypically offer additional literacy instruction, even when engaging youth intasks that necessitate literate skill.

Q: How can organized after-school (OST) activities help young people and schoolsimprove their reading skills? How can these programs combine young literacydevelopment activities while maintaining their youth development approach?

A: We propose eight topics to explore forprograms wishing to improve or expand literacy efforts aimed at teenagers.Goals, activities, teaching, professional development, participant evaluation,literacy skill and strategy foundations, student involvement and motivation areamong them. Tutoring tactics, one-on-one assistance, transfer options, andprogram assessment, I will highlight a few of them.

Alignment of goals, activities, and teaching for professional development is about OST providers who want to improve their youth literacy development activities must first assess how such activities could fit into the broader aims of the programs. Once you've assessed how much literacy development and enrichment activities complement the goal of your program, project coordinators and staff may begin a process of strategic literacy planning.

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We present a short list of various literacy-related goals inthe table below, categorized by the four categories of adolescent literacydevelopment programs. Each category begins with a sample programming goal and is followed by examples of relevant Adolescent Literacy Development (ALD)objectives, teaching resources, and professional development/planningactivities that may be useful in supporting these goals.

Secondly, Assessing students' reading abilitiesis crucial to the effectiveness of any program that incorporates text intoactivities. Participant evaluation helps the program to acquire perspective onstudents' current literacy abilities by carefully delving into what youngpeople can enjoy and want to accomplish regarding literate activity as theybegin and advance through the program.

The next stage for any OST programs interestedin promoting teenage literacy is to establish a solid foundation of activitiesand interactions that value a variety of reading, writing, and verbalcommunication abilities. OST programs may provide youth activities and tasksthat make them want to write. OST programs may also supplement the schoolproject curriculum. OST might work with schools to provide adolescents withcommunity-based literacy and content knowledge across disciplines.

Tutoring strategies is another aspect toconsider, as tutors and staff should offer students self-learning skills whileassisting them with assignments.

Also,at least one-quarter of kids lack basicreading abilities, which is greater among low-income and minority students. OSTprograms serve a large percentage of kids who need further assistance beyondenrichment. According to research, one-on-one tutoring may assist at-risk pupilsin improving their reading ability.

programs may stress student expressivenessand creativity rather than spelling and grammar. However, it is stilldetermined whether non-academic reading and writing activities translate intoacademic performance. Suppose the OST provider wants to improve academicaccomplishment. In that case, programs may look at methods to clarify transferwhile retaining their distinctively engaging teaching techniques.

Finally, a detailed assessment strategy aidsin tracking results and measuring performance once OST practitioners haveadapted their literacy activities to participants' strengths and limitationsfollowing well-defined program objectives. A solid assessment strategy looks atthe literacy intervention process (i.e., inputs and the intricacies ofday-to-day practice) and the outcomes.

Although no established strategies for teenageliteracy development in out-of-school time are available, the self-assessmentcontains hundreds of topics for OST providers to consider while supportingpurposeful learning settings, such as staff development, evaluation, andsustainability.

Q: What are your final words John Jezzini?

A: When we came up with alternatives to repairthe rate of out-of-school adolescents, we reduced the rate of poor literacydevelopment. It is a wonderful idea that should be supported and financed bythe authorities to enhance academic knowledge in society.


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