Special to the
Opelika Observer

The Auburn University Reading Center will offer free remote reading tutoring June 5 to July 15 for children who have completed grades K-2 and who are not yet reading fluently.

No tuition will be charged for children accepted into the program—now in its 22nd year—and the Early Childhood Education program will provide a small group of tutors for the project. Priority will be given to children struggling with decoding, fluency or comprehension and the program is not designed for fluent readers seeking an enrichment program or for speakers of other languages working to learn English.

All participants are expected to improve their decoding ability, reading fluency, comprehension and enjoyment of reading through participation in Summer Reading Tutoring.

“I’m excited about this new twist in tutoring,” said Bruce Murray, associate professor of reading education, who will supervise the instruction. “Besides learning to teach reading, our students will be mastering new technology that will let them reach out to students anywhere in the world. We’ll be carrying the discoveries of the past into the future of education.”

Murray, known as “The Reading Genie,” said he believes this year’s Summer Reading Tutoring program can bring special help for children who have been getting limited reading instruction since schools have been closed due to the pandemic. Because parents will not have to bring children to Haley Center for the program, those living outside Auburn are encouraged to apply.

Parents will need a laptop computer with a webcam, an internet connection and either a document camera or a flexible holder for a smartphone so the phone camera can display student work. Parents are encouraged to obtain plastic lowercase letter tiles for lesson activities, and program organizers also suggest a printer for reproducing other materials sent by email.

One parent wrote favorably of their experience with the instruction, saying, “I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your reading program. It is probably the best reading program I have ever experienced! I am a former first grade teacher, and I’m always looking for different ideas to share with my own children. I love the idea of your program being so individualized. I feel like every child was ‘coached’ on his/her ability level and not just grade level.”

Parents can find information, pictures and an application form on the Reading Genie website and are invited to email Murray with questions at murraba@auburn.edu.