We have a full-time Literacy Center called U-Link where students can work and utilize mentoring services.

The Literacy Center…

…is all about developing a student body that knows how to effectively read and comprehend texts across all content areas. As such, we work to identify and assist students who need additional assistance.  In addition, the center and the mentors work with all students; any student can come to the center.

  • Our literacy program starts with a literacy screening for all incoming freshmen. Students who could benefit from additional help are identified with this screener; these students then participate in summer bridge program prior to their freshman year.
  • As a part of the literacy and freshman program, all freshman are given the MARSI  to determine which strategies students self-identify that they use before, during, and after reading. The literacy specialst shares the results of this with the Freshman Program teachers and all teachers of freshman.  The Freshman Program teachers and the Literacy Specialist meet with each student individually to discuss results and set goals for the student to add additional reading strategies to his/her reporitore during the freshman year.
  • All students can meet can participate with One-to-one ongoing assistance as needed from the Literary Specialist.
  • The Literacy Specialist is a member of our SAP team in order to help with ongoing efforts to identify struggling students at all levels who need additional help.
  • Integrating reading/comprehension strategies into the freshman program. For instance:

In addition, having a full-time literacy specialist enables us integrate content area literacy strategies . The literacy specialist works directly with content area teachers to develop strategies in specific areas. For example:

  • In math, the specialist works with the class teacher to help students develop strategies for tackling a reading problem, and pulling out what’s important so that they can do the actual math of the problem. How often is a student struggling not because they can’t do.

Mentoring in the U-Link Center…

…is all about facilitating a safe, supportive environment for students to get help in all content areas.

  • Key to this is our collaboration with ISU students who serve as mentors
    • 30-60 applicants per term offering 1-5 hours of help per week
    • Over 30 active ISU mentors a semseter
    • volunteers, many of whom are wanting to be teachers
    • college students bring a recent high school experience and how the courses our students take  link to college expectations
  • U-High student peer tutors
    • 25  per year
    • opportunity to develop leadership, provide service

U-Link also offers workshops…

…outside of the school day to support students’ academic and college preparation needs. These include:

  • college q and a session with counselors concerning the application search process.
  • college essay-writing workshop; students can bring in and get feedback on their essays.
  • scholarship essay-writing workshop
  • note-taking workshop
  • test-taking workshop
  • writing workshop
  • content-specific mentor-led finals study groups