Education Station: The return of Dickens Reads

With the new on-board intervention specialist in the post-school tutoring program, there have been significant improvements in children’s literacy.

CLEVELAND – It’s been a few months since we last caught up with third-graders at our host school, Charles Dickens Elementary School in Cleveland. After a brief cessation of our after-school tutoring program, Dickens Reads is working again and working with some big changes!

“I think we’re finally back on track,” teacher Brittany Jasinski told us.

After Omicron and snowy weather canceled many classes in January and February, Dickens Reeds returned to the courteous staff and students.

“The children are finally coming back, most of them, and so are the volunteers,” says Jasinski, or “Miss J.” as the students call her.

We watched Miss Jay’s third grade all school year as they tried to pass the state reading exam. She has seen huge improvements since Dickens Reeds started.

“I’ve seen a pretty big difference, yes,” she said. “I saw a difference in their confidence, I saw a difference in their love of reading.”

One of Miss Jay’s students, Jania, started reading Dickens Reads in kindergarten / first grade, but now reads in her class. Another student, 9-year-old Davon, also noticed that his reading ability has increased dramatically since we last saw him three months ago. His math scores also improved.

“As his reading ability grows and he can read these questions more, he is more interested in these programs to help his math,” Jasinski said.

“With Amanda [Lowe]The program we added this year has made it much easier for us and the students, ”added Dickens Reads volunteer Fran Stewart.

Amanda Lowe is an intervention specialist hired by Dickens Reds this year to assess each student’s ability to read and structure the program according to their individual needs.

“Every session meets their needs, and every time they’re here, they grow,” she said. “We see improvements every time, so we know that what we do works.”

Such a small gesture as reading with children not only changes the lives of children but also the lives of Dickens ’dedicated volunteers.

“Honestly, this is one of the most rewarding hours of my morning,” Abe Arabi said. “When I heard this story on Channel 3, I just felt it would be very sad if the kids go through the years of elementary school not knowing how much joy reading can bring.”

We are still looking for volunteers such as Abe and Fran to read to children after school our Dickens Reads program. 3News is a proud sponsor, so email our Advocacy and Community Initiative Director Margaret Bernstein at to find out how you can help!

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