In the past 20 years, RITES has given thousands of struggling students the key to lifelong success. Here are simply a few who’ve been thriving recently. There are so many more, in fact 100 students await the life-changing skill of learning to read and succeed in school. To learn more about students and families who are still waiting and very deserving, click here.
Adriana and her twin sister, Mackayla, have been receiving tutoring from RITES for the past three years, but their parents struggle to pay for services. They now need different levels of support and cannot receive tutoring at the same time anymore, to cut costs. Adriana is now in the 6th grade and continuing to make progress with her literacy skills, although distance learning has created new challenges for this earnest young learner.
In 2018 and 2019, she spent five intensive weeks with us in our Code Breakers class, where she made significant progress – here is the power of RITES for Adriana:
Mackayla is Adriana’s twin sister. They may look alike, but their academic needs are at different levels.
When we met these girls, their literacy profiles were similar enough to be able to instruct them together to create a group tutorial and save their hard-working parents money while they waited for financial support. The girls were also able to participate in our partially-funded, small-group summer program in 2018 and 2019. This past summer, the girls were placed in different sections of the summer program, because Mackayla’s literacy skills were a little ahead of Adriana’s.
Now, Mackayla needs to continue intensive literacy intervention to strengthen skills, such as transferring learned concepts to new words and situations, and to close the achievement gap. Distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to erode the progress Mackayla and Adriana have made, as they thrive with in-person, ongoing support.
Adonys is a young adult, who recognized it’s never too late to claim his right to literacy.
It took a lot for him to gather the courage to leave the house and begin tutoring with RITES teacher, Deborah Phillips (pictured here, working on their Wilson reading and spelling lesson).
Here is how RITES has helped, in his own words:
My reading has improved since I started at RITES in May of 2018. Since graduating from High School in 2013, I have been at home most of the time. I was shy, and uncomfortable with new people. I am happy to come to tutoring because my reading is improving. I used to play video games but was not able to read the words. Now I can do that. I don’t get lost anymore, because I can read what it says. I feel comfortable with my tutor, Deb. I hope to go to a trade school, so I can get a job that I like.
Adonys has made real progress. Here is what his RITES teacher, Deborah, had to say:
What is interesting is his desire to learn the meanings of words. Ex: the word was “prevent.” I explained that pre- can be a prefix and gave its meaning. He thought for a minute and asked, “ Is that like ‘preview’?” He does this all the time now, making connections. Adonys has gained so much self-confidence, as well. He has a sense of humor that is really pretty funny and clever. It really is a pleasure working with him and seeing him grow as a person, as well as a reader.
Crucial partner in her child’s progress
Ariana (pictured here with her RITES teacher Allyson Villari) is an adorable 2nd grader who struggles with dyslexia and ADHD. Her mother recognized there was a problem, especi
ally as the school considered retaining her in 1st grade. Ariana’s mother began searching for help and found RITES. Mom works hard, and struggled to pay for Ariana’s tutoring. She also has another child and she suffered a medical issue over the summer, straining her resources beyond the breaking point. Because RITES expanded our financial assistance program in 2016 by 77%, we were able to offer Ariana tutoring with full financial aid. She was able to attend the Code Breakers small-group summer class, and then resume one-to-one tutoring with her same RITES teacher, all with RITES financial assistance, keeping the delivery of services seamless, so Ariana could continue to experience academic growth and success.
Ariana is making good progress. She came to us reading at a pre-primer level and is now reading at about a beginning 2nd grade level. Her mother is very grateful and sees RITES as a crucial partner in her child’s progress:
“Ariana has shown an 80% improvement in her reading! She is happier at school, and less scared. It’s hard to find places to help. I’m so glad I found RITES.”
Confidence & self-esteem soared
Lead to grade-level success
Eli first experienced the difference RITES can make in the summer of 2015, when he attended our Code Breakers 5-week, small-group summer program. When he began as a rising 4th grader, he was reading at about an end-of-1st-grade level. He had a lot of ground to make up and few resources to do so. He attended the program on full financial assistance from RITES’ supporting donors, like you. Through the five weeks, Eli’s confidence and self-esteem soared, and he felt true academic success for the first time. As the program was coming to an end, his grateful parents turned to RITES once again, desperate to keep the momentum going, but fearful that they wouldn’t be able to, because they couldn’t afford our $60/hour fee.
Through the collaborative efforts of RITES, Eli’s school, and his family, we have been able to provide ongoing Orton-Gillingham tutoring from a wonderful, tireless RITES teacher, which continued through January 2020. The specific services RITES provided were even built into his IEP. At the end of our tutoring, Eli was reading and analyzing “A Separate Peace” – right on his 6th – 8th grade reading level!
The difference his RITES experience has made is palpable. The school trusts the quality of instruction and level of support RITES provides. Eli has made huge strides in a relatively short amount of time, and myriad professionals who work with him are able to see the difference and attribute it clearly to his work with his RITES expert teacher.
Met needs of each of their children
Breadth of expertise across teachers
Yianni and his brothers are “veteran” RITES students. Stratos and Kostas started with RITES back in 2010. Six years and 4 RITES teachers later, they are thriving. Stratos is doing well at UMass Lowell and Kostas plans to attend Suffolk University in the fall. This family is a great example of how RITES adapts to fulfill the changing needs of the students we serve. Yianni’s two older brothers began with reading and writing support from their RITES expert teachers. They received steady tutoring in these areas for two years, until they were able to apply what they had learned independently. In 2015 and the boys were getting ready to take the SAT. Their mother turned to RITES once again, having learned we provide one-to-one SAT prep and our RITES teachers had been specially trained in the nuances of the test, combining our extensive learning differences and learning styles knowledge with high-stakes test-taking strategies.
In the meantime, in 2013, younger brother Yianni began reading, writing, and study and organizational skills tutoring at RITES. He is currently an 8th grader and working on his study skills to prepare him for high school. This is a family who understands and appreciates the breadth of expertise the RITES staff has, benefiting directly from the wide array of services and teacher choices under the same umbrella to grow with the needs of each of their children.
Trying not to lose the gains made
Jose was able to take RITES’ intensive Code Breakers: Unlocking Reading, Writing and Spelling class with full financial assistance, thanks to supporting donors. Jose made impressive progress, increasing his decoding/reading skills by 45% in just 5 weeks. But, when the program was over, he had to join the end of RITES long wait list for individual tutoring financial aid. His single mother is unable to work and has almost no income. She worries about Jose sliding back while he waits for services, especially after he had the chance to experience success with RITES’ help.
Getting older, but still needing a helping hand
When we met her, Jackie was a current 6th grader who was several grade levels behind in reading. She struggles with reading comprehension and writing. She was able to attend a RITES summer program with partial financial support, exposing her to active, helpful strategies to improve these skills. While she waits for financial assistance for individual tutoring, her reading and writing skills languish, widening the gap between her and her peers, and making middle school a tougher mountain to climb.
Rhode Island Tutorial & Educational Services
334 East Avenue – Suite 3 Pawtucket, RI 02860
Speak with a RITES Specialist 401-723-4459