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Unlocking Literacy: i-Ready Tool Making a Difference

July 17, 2023

Reading is an essential skill for children. But the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on education was significant, especially in reading proficiency. That's where AHC can help. AHC's after-school education programs are making a difference.

Using a reading diagnostic tool, i-Ready, AHC successfully assesses and enhances reading skills for children in grades K-5.

"We've closed the gap significantly compared with pre-pandemic levels," says Laney Parrott, Literacy and Curriculum Specialist with AHC. It’s a testament to the work of AHC staff, volunteer tutors – and of course the students.

The i-Ready tool is a comprehensive assessment that evaluates various aspects of reading, including phonological awareness, high-frequency words, vocabulary, and reading comprehension. Analyzing these areas gives AHC valuable insight into each child's reading proficiency. AHC uses this information to create personalized learning plans that target specific areas of weakness.

At the start of the 2022-23 school year, AHC identified 21 out of 101 children reading at or above their grade level. End-of-year testing showed this number nearly doubled to 40 students now reading at grade level or above. The success story doesn't end there.

High-frequency words, often called "sight words," are the building blocks of vocabulary and play a crucial role in sentence comprehension. The percentage of children who recognized these sight words jumped from 50% to over 80% this school year.

Recognizing the importance of early intervention, AHC administers i-Ready tests to younger children at the beginning, middle, and end of the school year. This approach allows staff to closely monitor progress and tailor instructional lessons based on the specific needs of each student.

AHC collaborates with the children's teachers and volunteer tutors who contribute to helping children in targeted areas. Volunteer tutors undergo training sessions to learn ideas and strategies that enhance the overall reading support provided to the students.

"We also have team-based parties," explains Becky Koons, assistant director of Resident Services. "When we hype the program and outcomes, it sets the stage for learning." Even the kids are enthusiastic and say, "It helps us learn."

AHC is part of a nationwide cohort of organizations using i-Ready. Through accurate assessment, tailored instruction, collaboration, and celebration, AHC has proven that progress is possible even in challenging times.

Help Make a Difference

Join AHC's mission in shaping a brighter future for every child. Volunteer today.


Media Contact: Jennifer K. Smith, Director of Communications,, 703-486‑0626 x1118


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