Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Back to the Classroom

If anyone has a little extra time, that time would be well spent volunteering in an elementary classroom:
A program that uses older volunteers as tutors has significantly improved the reading skills of students in the early grades, according to a study released today.
. . .
The report found that the program had “statistically significant and substantively important” effects on the youngsters’ reading skills, as measured by standardized tests and teacher evaluations.
Speaking of the classroom, I may be teaching again soon. I'm applying for a position as a part-time lecturer at a local community college. It'll still be business as usual as Inkspot--you might say the teaching is for fun, or for an opportunity to volunteer in my own little way.

P.S. Some information to support literacy volunteering at the front end:

"There is not a lot of causal evidence that specifically says people with educational skills won't commit crimes, but there is definitely a strong correlation between educational ability and staying out of prison," said Peter Leone, a correctional education expert at the University of Maryland.

A comprehensive study by the Washington State Institute for Public Policy, the research arm of the Washington Legislature, found that general education programs reduced the recidivism rate by 7 percent and vocational programs by 9 percent, among the best records of in-prison programs.

The academic and vocational programs cost the state about $1,000 a year per inmate but, the study concluded, vocational education produced a net benefit to the state of $13,738 per participant, and the educational programs $10,669 per inmate, in the form of lower crime rates, fewer victims and less criminal justice spending.

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