BACK OFFICE BUSINESS: AmeriCorps Volunteers Improve Reading Outcomes in Des Moines (IA) Public Schools

To support the district’s mission to improve student literacy proficiency, the district trained AmeriCorps members to deliver the offline instruction provided by Lexia Reading Core5. Leveraging the power of the volunteers to improve student reading outcomes requires an understanding of the instruction, the students’ needs, the data, and the resources themselves. School leaders used specific strategies to ensure that these volunteers could support instruction and help improve reading outcomes effectively. They trained volunteers to access Lexia’s reports and use the data to adjust direct instruction. The district standardized an implementation plan, so that everyone worked with a common set of tools, and helped volunteers understand the data by teaching them how to access the data of the populations they were working with and how to follow up with students who were flagged for offline instruction.