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Important COVID-19 information: Our ProgramsFAQsResources for families

About Our Program

Reading is fundamental to a child’s academic success. It is the foundation for all learning. In fourth grade, students are expected to transition from learning to read to reading to learn. From this point on, they’ll use these foundational reading skills to explore and master new subjects like science, history, and geography. 

Learn more about our literacy programs below.


One-on-one tutoring programs

51 Traditional

Together with our schools, 51 focuses on supporting students who are several months to two and a half years behind grade level in reading. We harness the power of community volunteers to provide individualized literacy instruction with measurable results to help students master the reading fundamentals they need to reach grade level. Working one-on-one with their tutors, students who were once trending behind in reading become proud, confident readers, excited about learning and ready for success.

51 Connects

reading partners connects south carolina51 Connects will allow 51 to continue to serve students one-on-one in a safe online environment using 51’ evidence-based curriculum. Content will integrate our trusted curriculum and lessons into innovative presentations to optimize student engagement and incorporate social-emotional learning (SEL) opportunities through relationship-building with tutors.


51 Beyond program innovations

In 2020, 51 made adjustments to our programmatic offerings to create flexibility with our school partners and better meet our students’ needs during COVID-19 and beyond. Each region will implement specific innovation programs in alignment with the requests and requirements from local schools and districts.

Small group tutoring

In some cases, we may need to shift from serving students one-on-one to small groups in order to meet principal requests to meet greater student needs. In these cases, 51 will implement Tutoring With the Lightning Squad, a web-based tutoring program where students work in pairs to practice literacy skills up to a mid-third grade level. A trained adult monitors and supports the small group session of two of four students.

Digital library

The ReadingIQ app will provide access to a digital library of high-quality texts for students. As we continue to expand our reach and offer “Whole School” literacy services to our current school partners, this opportunity could be shared with both 51’ students and the broader school population. There is a subscription cost of $25 per student, which 51 plans to cover through private philanthropy.

Family engagement

Families and caregivers have always been vital to student success and should be engaged whenever possible. Here are some of the offerings 51 will deliver to increase our support of families and students at home:

  • Family texting
  • Student learning packets
  • Family literacy resources
  • Family engagement workshops
  • Family advisory groups

Program Advisors

program advisors51 launched a curriculum advisory committee in 2013 to ensure reading and literacy experts shared their knowledge and experience with evidence-based practices to guide regular revisions to the organization’s curriculum and instructional practices. Beginning in 2019, the former curriculum advisory was renamed the Program Advisory and additional members joined to reflect a more diverse set of expertise and experiences that support the broader needs of the organization and the communities we serve. The committee is co-led by Chief Knowledge Officer, Dean Elson, and Managing Director of National Programs, Jennifer Joyce.

View our program advisors here.

Thanks to our partners

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