The Effects of a Writing Tutoring Program on 5th-Grade Academic Performance at a Low-Income Elementary School in HISD



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Writing to Inspire Successful Education (WISE) is a Houston-based educational project that is supported by the University of Houston’s Bonner Leaders Program and is in partnership with Briscoe Elementary School. WISE focuses on fostering academic fulfillment, promoting future achievements, and enhancing the education of economically disadvantaged elementary students in Houston’s Third Ward community through writing tutoring and mentorship. By using Briscoe Elementary teacher lesson plans and the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) state standards, WISE executives create a curriculum to be used throughout the academic year. The program structure consists of real-time virtual tutoring with fifth-grade students. Student achievement is measured by their performance on the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR). Meeting the benchmark score indicates the student’s preparedness for the subsequent grade-level and a mastery of the skills necessary for their current grade-level. By using weekly feedback forms, mentor evaluation forms, and quarterly district student assessment scores, WISE is able to track the program’s effectiveness in overall mentor and student performance. This study looks at the influence of a writing tutoring and mentorship program on the academic performance of fifth-grade students at a low-income elementary school. While analyzing the effects of our intervention within two months, our findings show a correlation between student participation and productivity and an increase in Houston Independent School District (HISD) student benchmark scores.