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July 21, 2016

Truancy officer changes student attitude toward school

When Reading Partners North Texas program manager, Crystal Landrum, first met Ms. McCann, she was curious to learn more about McCann’s sudden and urgent interest in the Reading Partners program. As an advocacy coordinator for Dallas Independent School District’s Office of Student Discipline/Truancy, Ms. McCann came to Reading Partners seeking an immediate solution to one student’s truancy challenges.

Ashleigh is a third-grade student who was referred to Ms. McCann’s office for truancy. When Ms. McCann asked her why she didn’t like coming to school and what could help change her attitude toward learning, Ashleigh quickly responded with, “I just want to go to Reading Partners.”

Ashleigh was enrolled in Reading Partners the previous school year, but was still on the waiting list for the current year. Ms. McCann, eager to improve Ashleigh’s attendance and performance in school, contacted Reading Partners to find out more.

Crystal told her that Reading Partners would love to enroll Ashleigh in one-on-one tutoring sessions, but that the school needed more volunteers before they could bring any more students into the program. She explained that anyone could be a volunteer as long as they are willing to spend one hour a week tutoring a student. Without hesitation, Ms. McCann jumped at the chance to become Ashleigh’s tutor:

I will be her tutor, how do I sign up?

The site coordinator arranged for an orientation immediately, and the enrollment process was in motion. Within two weeks, the pair was matched and tutoring began! Ashleigh and Ms. McCann worked together for the rest of the school year, and in just five months she gained nine months of skills. Ashleigh actually doubled her rate of learning and met her final performance goals for the year!

We are happy to report that Ashleigh is no longer truant and looks forward to coming to school — not just when she is coming to Reading Partners, but everyday. Her teachers claim that Ashleigh’s overall attitude toward learning has improved greatly!

Because a caring school staff member took the time to learn about Reading Partners, a student is now back on track in school. Now Ashleigh and Ms. McCann are both enjoying their newfound friendship and learning together.

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