Gov. Roy Cooper Visits Moore Magnet Elementary Showcasing NCEC Tutoring Program

Gov. Roy Cooper came to Moore Magnet Elementary School on Tuesday to tout a tutoring program that he hopes will help students who suffered academically during the pandemic.

A joint project of the Office of the Governor, the N.C. State Board of Education and local school districts, the North Carolina Ed Corps program trains and pays people to serve as literacy tutors in schools, using funds from the American Rescue Plan Recovery Act.

During a stop at Moore Magnet Elementary School on Tuesday, Gov. Roy Cooper talks with Elizabeth Carroll, a tutor with North Carolina Education Corps, about her reading lesson.

“We know the challenges of this pandemic. We know children got behind some,” Cooper said. “So we needed a way to focus on extra help for our students. This takes people who are willing to tutor, gives them additional training and also pays them to be in the school helping these children with focused, evidence-based tutoring. It’s going to be remarkable.”

The program is in 24 of the state’s 115 school districts, including Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools. The goal is to be in 30 school districts next year, according to John-Paul Smith, the executive director of N.C. Ed Corps. About 200 tutors work in those 24 districts. There are 17 working in the local school district, with plans to add another eight next year, said Janice Broyles, who oversees the program in the Triad.

The local tutors are focused on building the reading skills of children in grades K-2, Broyles said. “The data is showing significant gains and great growth with these children getting additional tutoring,” she said. “These light bulb moments are happening.”

The school district has a goal of having 90 percent of all local third-graders reading on grade level by 2025. It’s an ambitious goal, considering that the number of third-graders reading at grade level or above dropped to 39% in 2021, compared with 52% in 2019, the last year that was not impacted by the pandemic. Statewide, 45% of third-graders tested at or above grade level at the end of 2021.

John-Paul Smith, executive director of the North Carolina Ed Corps program, talks with Gov. Roy Cooper during a visit to Moore Magnet Elementary School on Tuesday.

“This is giving them the foundational skills they need to be successful readers later,” Superintendent Tricia McManus said.

At Moore, Cooper spent several minutes in a classroom with three Ed Corps tutors, Aliah Sharp, Elizabeth Carroll and Lois Roewade. The three women were each reviewing reading materials with three students.

“This is an amazing way for parents and the community to connect with students,” Cooper said. “It’s an imperative for this to succeed.”

Learn more and hear the complete story at the Winston Salem Journal.

Excerpted from Lisa O’Donnell, Winston Salem Journal, Thousands of NC students have fallen behind. As schools look to tutors for help, governor comes to Winston-Salem to praise the plan