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Americorps awards $640,000 grant to support TutorND

| Thursday, September 14, 2023

Americorps has awarded the University of Notre Dame a $640,000 grant to recruit, train and support 500 volunteers for tutoring in South Bend and schools working with the Alliance for Catholic Education.

One of the largest initiatives benefiting from the award is TutorND, a program which trains tutors in “evidence-based tutoring practices” to work in the Elkhart and South Bend areas, as well as ACE schools.

TutorND, which trains its tutors in the cognitive science of learning, aims to bridge the gap between research and practice. The program developed out of research from Notre Dame’s Cognition, Learning and Development (CLAD) lab. Nicole McNeil, professor of psychology, is the director of CLAD.

“Too many children in our community still lack access to high-quality, structured tutoring. Volunteers are eager to help, but without the right tools and evidence-based resources, even the most motivated tutors find it challenging to make a meaningful impact,” McNeil said, in the grant announcement.

TutorND provides in-person and virtual one-on-one and small group tutoring. Currently, the program serves 300 students, using methods from the “What Works” evidence clearinghouse that are shown by research to improve student outcomes.

The tutors will use Cognition Connection, a learning hub that connects tutors with cognitive science and learning research. 

Early outcomes suggest that TutorND has a positive impact on South Bend students. All elementary students from South Bend who worked with a tutor in the full support program demonstrated growth at an above-average rate in oral reading fluency.


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