IMSE is excited to announce a strategic partnership with literacy non-profit Raising Hands Tutoring, to certify elementary school teachers in Orton-Gillingham, a long-standing, evidence-based multisensory instructional approach to teaching reading that is backed by research from the Science of Reading at no cost. In return, Raising Hands Tutoring will provide free tutoring services to low-income, at-risk students who need reading intervention. This partnership will increase access to high-quality tutoring for low-income, at-risk students struggling with reading.

Based in Highland Park, NJ, Raising Hands Tutoring aims to decrease the achievement gap by offering teachers access to certification in a nationally recognized, evidence-based reading program. Once certified, teachers are equipped to implement the program in their classes and provide free individualized afterschool tutoring to at-risk, struggling readers who require a more intensive intervention experience. 

Raising Hands offers two programs through their organization. The first is their School Partnership Program, where they partner with public schools in New Jersey and beyond to train and certify classroom teachers in the Orton-Gillingham Method. Secondly, they offer Individual Teacher Training where individual teachers are invited to apply to participate in training and certification if it is not offered through a partnership with their school district. Raising Hands serves 105 kids between its one-on-one tutoring and school partnership program. 

All of Raising Hands’ tutors are trained and certified through IMSE, with three cohorts of teachers having already completed IMSE’s certification process to date. Becoming IMSE certified is a deeper dive into OG training requiring not just the 30-hr Comprehensive OG+ course but also requires teachers to complete a 50-hour practicum working with a student while receiving ongoing support and training from an IMSE practicum supervisor – an important step to ensure fidelity of instruction when working with students. This year, 25 additional teachers will complete the process, bringing the total to 43 trained tutors by 2024. 

Holly Turner, M.Ed., founder and director of Raising Hands Tutoring, started the organization to fill the void of access to affordable reading intervention for students.

“We are passionate about strengthening the program at Raising Hands, and using the most modern, evidence-based training to provide the best possible tutoring experience for children,” said Turner. “I fell in love with IMSE when I went through its training program and wanted to offer teachers a deeper knowledge of literacy that increases fidelity and consistency in the classroom. IMSE is helping us get this certification into the hands of more teachers, and allowing us to reach more children who need reading intervention but can’t afford tutoring otherwise.”

IMSE and Turner are also bringing this program to higher education. This year, IMSE and Turner will team up with Rutgers University to identify 10 student teachers to complete IMSE Orton-Gillingham training. This exciting pilot program could pave the way for future partnerships with teacher preparation programs around the country.  

“The answer to our nation’s literacy challenges is about giving more – giving more training and tools to teachers to do their jobs well, and more resources to kids who need reading intervention the most,” said Jeanne Jeup, co-founder and CEO of IMSE. “With systematic, explicit instruction, we can help every student learn how to read. I’m so excited to work with Holly and her team to ensure more students receive effective reading instruction, and look forward to expanding our partnership to make a major impact on classroom instruction.”

Click here to learn more about Raising Hands Tutoring.

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