Update on the Talking Books Pilot Program

Pilot Project at Rimes Early Learning Center – Tutors for Kids started a “pilot project” at Rimes Early Learning and Literacy Center in Leesburg.  During February and March, Tutors for Kids researched the availability of talking books for kindergarten students – and decided on the Paw Patrol (a show on the Nickelodeon channel – and very familiar to this age group of students).  Using a generous donation from Dr. Thi Tran of Village Dermatology, Tutors for Kids purchased 20 kits that contain eight books and 8 tablets that talk to readers.

  • The Literacy Coach and the Family Liaison Coordinator designated 15 kindergarten students who needed a boost and encouragement to improve their reading.  Tutors for Kids identified four tutors to work with students from four kindergarten classes. 
  • In late March, the tutors and students met and started “reading” with the Paw Patrol.
  • Since March, tutors have been meeting the students each week, “reading” a book with the tablet, and working with the students to further identify words, letters, and colors.
  • In addition to the reading kits, we have located other Paw Patrol trinkets to give to the students as incentives (donated by the tutors themselves):  badges, stickers, and medals.  (NOTE:  Students are very excited to receive trinkets like these – to show to fellow students and to their families.)
  •  Our plan is to give the kits to the students on May 16 to take home for the summer.  In addition, tutors have talked with each student to determine family persons to whom they can demonstrate their new Paw Patrol kits!!

Going Forward – Our plan for the next school year is to expand this project to more schools and more kindergarteners.  We will alert kindergarten tutors about the success of Paw Patrol, purchase more kits, and spread the joy further.

Carolyn Ruhe helps a student with the talking books program