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Upper School Curriculum

  • Interdisciplinary Studies
Senior Elective – Teaching Literacy Skills (Augustine Tutoring)
Grade: 12
Full-Year
PREREQ: Application

This course is a collaboration among Durham Academy Upper School, The Children’s Literacy Project (CLP) and Durham Public Schools. It combines three focus areas: a rigorous, systematic, multi-sensory, phonetic teaching approach to address language-related learning difficulties; a full-year, one-to-one tutoring relationship with a child at a local Durham elementary school; and outreach into the Durham community to address the needs of low-income, “at-risk” children who struggle with reading, writing and spelling. DA seniors will be taught how to tutor second-graders using the Orton-Gillingham approach and the five essential components of research-based reading instruction: phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency and comprehension. Tutors will develop an ongoing relationship during the academic year with their assigned child. (To qualify for tutoring, students must be eligible for free or reduced-price lunch and score below grade level in literacy skills.) DA tutors will be expected to teach approximately two lessons per week at a local elementary school under the supervision of CLP staff. In the remaining class periods at DA, students will construct lesson plans, reflect on their tutorial experiences and discuss articles addressing child development, literacy, poverty and related topics. 

Note: Students signing up for this course will represent Durham Academy to the larger Durham community through this direct and sustained tutoring/mentoring program. The course is taught by the Children’s Literacy Project Executive Director and DA faculty member Crawford Leavoy. Students are encouraged to consult with Mr. Leavoy concerning course availability and logistics. An application is required. Please note the class meets during “G” period to allow time for tutors to teach a 45-minute lesson and to drive to and from Hope Valley or Lakewood Elementary School.

  • Grade 12