Hickory – From the beginning of the pandemic, educational experts warned that students from low-income families would suffer the most from disruptions to their school schedules. 2020-2021 test scores of students in Catawba County validate their warning. Prior to the pandemic, 50% of students from low-income families did not read on grade level. However, in May 2021, 72% of students from low-income families failed to reach proficiency on the 3rd grade end of grade reading test.Help For Struggling Readers

Angela Lawrence, Executive Director of Patrick Beaver Learning Resource Center, commented: “Despite the heroic efforts of school teachers and administrators to deliver high quality instruction online during the pandemic, the achievement gap in reading between low-income students and their peers grew significantly. To help all students in Catawba County to become proficient readers, our community must make a dedicated effort. Tutoring a child through the Augustine Literacy Project improves a child’s life and our community.”

With the support of the Catawba County United Way, the Augustine Literacy Project trains volunteers to provide research-based, individualized tutoring to students from low-income families who read at least one year below grade level, at no cost to the students’ families or schools. The fall trainings are scheduled for October 11-15 and November 1-5. The Patrick Beaver Learning Resource Center is planning several opportunities for potential tutors to find out how to get involved in the Augustine Literacy Project. Informational coffees will be held at 10 a.m. at the center’s new office on September 28, October 15, and October 26.

Also, on Thursday, September 23, and Wednesday, October 6, individuals can visit the center’s new location at 1925 Tate Boulevard SE, Hickory, NC 28602 any time from 10:30 am to 3:00 pm to find out more about becoming a tutor. For more information, email [email protected], call 828-624-2012, or visit www.patrickbeaverlrc.org.