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Chelsea DeLong

Meet Maya and Maki!

Meet Maya and Maki! 2560 1707 Chelsea DeLong

Way to Grow’s Family Educators know that every family and child is unique, so they customize literacy lessons and tailor academic curriculum to fit each child’s strengths. 

When Eureka heard about Way to Grow, she thought it would be a great fit for her twins, Maya and Maki. Eureka reached out after her twins completed 2nd grade, but had struggled throughout 2020 with distance learning. Maya was reading at a beginning 1st grade level, and Maki, while reading at grade level, lacked reading comprehension. 

After working intensively with Amanda, their Family Educator, the twins finished 3rd grade at grade level!

Watch Them Grow

Amanda met Maya and Maki and began spending time getting to know their strengths, interests, and subjects they needed to work on to catch up. It was evident that Maya was very creative: she loved to draw, and often created beautiful pictures. When working with Maki, Amanda could see that when he was determined to learn something, he worked very hard to master it.

As twins, it came as no surprise that Maya and Maki were competitive and loved games. Amanda incorporated their individual strengths into literacy games to help improve their skills. Together, they would play “Sight Word Freeze” and “Rhyming Bingo,” and compete to win small, donated prizes as an encouragement for their hard work. 

As their reading improved, Amanda worked on having them take turns reading—Maya and Maki were able to complete their first chapter book in the spring.

Amanda also worked with the twins on activities such as counting money, telling time, and reading maps—all to further develop their skills before graduating from Way to Grow.

While both twins were showing noteable improvement, Amanda and Eureka agreed that Maya could use additional support at school while participating in Way to Grow’s tutoring program. Eureka was able to advocate for those services, and Maya finished 3rd grade at grade level with her twin. 

Maya and Maki’s success story would not have been possible without the support of their Family Educator, the recognition of their unique tutoring needs, their mother’s tireless advocacy, and the twins’ hard work. Maya and Maki are the real heroes of their story. We know their unique strengths and confidence borne of success will guide them through any challenges they face in life!

It’s a Wrap on Summer Reads! (Plus, 6 Other Tips for Summertime Learning)

It’s a Wrap on Summer Reads! (Plus, 6 Other Tips for Summertime Learning) 5038 2726 Chelsea DeLong

6 Tips for Summertime Learning

  1. Visit a library and READ!
  2. Do math-based activities at home: cooking, counting, board games
  3. Visit parks, museums, zoos (and see if they offer family discounts or free visit programs!)
  4. Set time aside daily to work on academic skills
  5. Have FUN and be ENGAGED! Practice flashcards, get outside, play games with your children’s friends
  6. If traveling, have workbooks and games for the car
  7. Enroll your kids in Way to Grow’s “Summer Reads” program!

From July 6th through August 15th, Way to Grow partnered with Literacy Minnesota to implement Summer Reads programming! Summer Reads has again been the perfect opportunity for 20 participants to experience the joys of summer while staying on track for the upcoming school year with extra programming and literacy support. Twice a week for 30 minutes a day, each student worked with Allie, our Summer Reads tutor, through a tailored tutoring lesson.

Our pre-K students worked on a combination of rhyming, alliteration, and letter sounds. K-3rd grade students worked on reading through a Reading A-Z level book. Allie offered error corrections and asked comprehension questions along the way, and, at the end of the lesson, Allie read them a book of their choosing!

A big accomplishment of the summer was Allie gathering hundreds of books to give away to students in our year-round tutoring program. Additionally, all 20 of the Summer Reads students received 5-6 books from Allie. It’s a fantastic start to each child’s library!

One of Allie’s favorite parts of this job was working directly with the children in the program and found practicing skills such as self-confidence, resiliency, and communication with students rewarding.

While some students were nervous to begin, Allie helped them grow their confidence through patience and fun tutoring sessions, customized individually for each unique student.

“The biggest challenge I’ve seen a few children overcome in just a few short weeks is shyness and anxiety about meeting with me. One child wouldn’t even come on screen for several minutes of our first session together. She was crying and telling her parent that she didn’t want to do it. By the end of the session, she was smiling and laughing!”

Way to Grow continuously looks for ways to uplift families and to help parents be their child’s number one teacher. Our Summer Reads program is one of many ways to give children an extra boost of encouragement and guidance as they prepare to start school ready to learn and grow.

While we say goodbye to Allie and Summer Reads, we’re gearing up for the start of a new school year with more families to serve than ever before. We’re ready for you, 2022-2023 school year!

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