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Author: The BCW

WIN Participant Novel Tutoring Concludes Literacy Pilot Project

BCW Westchester Innovation Network (WIN) participant Novel Tutoring recently concluded a literacy pilot project with the YMCA of Central and Northern Westchester to help parents and educators use Novel Tutoring’s platform to teach reading skills to children.

The Active Reader Early Literacy Pilot recruited educators and parents to participate in the introductory online workshops. The Active Reader is an explicit and systematic approach to reading instruction that allows parents and educators to quickly determine a child’s reading skill and develop plans to improve their literacy.

The Business Council of Westchester founded the BCW Westchester Innovation Network to give innovators a platform to access new markets and find new collaborations.

Novel Tutoring’s representatives received valuable feedback from users, who helped the Canada-based company understand that participants needed more time with the content; certain instructional areas needed clarification; and portal logins needed streamlining.

“The Westchester Innovation Network established the relationship for our first pilot program partnership allowing us to execute, monitor, and evaluate our Early Literacy Program in action,” said Novel Tutoring co-founder Robyn Keystone. “WIN was particularly supportive in making sure expectations were met within the pilot partnership. We are excited about the possibility of continuing to work with WIN to forge future partnerships for our Early Literacy Programming.”

The feedback-survey-based changes that Novel Tutoring intends to make include extending the introduction sessions to two weeks to help educators become more comfortable with the platform.

“The survey was incredibly positive,” said Keystone. “We used critical observation and discussion during the pilot period to identify areas of need within the programming and make appropriate updates.”

The company will also simplify the first training session and focus on key elements of the program and platform navigation, among other changes.

“Reading is a core skill that we emphasize in our early childhood programs, so we welcomed the Active Reader’s efforts to enhance adults’ ability to help children who may struggle with literacy,” said Cynthia Delfino, the YMCA’s President and CEO. Delfino is a member of the BCW Executive Committee.

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