The Outreach and Education Center of Pueblo is offering free tutoring with volunteer tutors from Pueblo First Seventh-day Adventist Church. Our tutors began rigorous training in math and reading interventions in the month of August, allowing the first session to begin Sept. 6, 2022.

“God is at work among us, bringing students from our congregation and the surrounding community,” said Sherry Lee Hohrnbacher, coordinator of the O&EC.

Schooling for many students in our community has been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. According to the recently-published results from the National Assessment of Academic Progress (NAEP), we are seeing the largest decline in math and reading proficiency since the assessment was first administered.

According to Sherry Lee Hornbacher, the aim of the Pueblo Center is to address this achievement gap by offering effective intervention programs to students whose families may not be able to afford or may not have access to supplemental academic support. Both reading and math lessons are individualized, aimed to advance targeted skills and concepts. An initial diagnostic assessment is done prior to the first day of tutoring to ensure student’s individual academic needs are addressed.

Students receive 1:1 instruction in math using the Math Recovery® approach. This approach to intervention is based on research projects designed by Dr. Robert J. “Bob” Wright and his colleagues in New South Wales, Australia, in the context of teaching experiments in a strictly controlled research setting. The outcome of this research includes a compilation of best practices, diagnostic assessments, and teaching procedures. Lessons are designed by Math Recovery® Specialist, Sherry Lee Hornbacher, and are implemented by O&EC volunteer tutors who continually fine-tune their instruction through regular team meetings. Sherry has personal experience in the implementation of the Math Recovery® approach playing a major role as a Math Recovery® Intervention specialist and trainer during the program pilot.

The Pueblo Center has chosen to implement an Orton-Gillingham multi-sensory based reading intervention on the recommendation of Dr. Annabelle Lopez of the Andrews University Center for Reading, Learning, and Assessment. The Barton Reading & Spelling System is a structured language approach that is different in both what is taught (reading and spelling are taught as related subjects) and how it is taught (the methodology).

The intervention is a direct, explicit, structured, and sequential program designed for intense intervention. Instruction is personalized and delivered at the individual’s own pace in a 1:1 student-teacher setting. The effectiveness of the Barton Reading and Spelling System has been proven in 15 independent studies from public and private schools across the nation.

The O&EC purchased the first level of the Barton system and began training tutors as soon as the materials were received. Since then, the center received a donation to purchase the second level. “Our plans are to purchase the entire system (10 levels) as funds become available,” comments Hornbacher.

The first tutoring session ended November 17, with a celebration of students and volunteers. After only 27 tutoring sessions, the participating students are already showing improvement.

“I receive such a blessing watching these young minds as they realize they are learning and growing. We have been truly blessed by God for the opportunity to learn, share, and fellowship in this program,” comments Christy Kraus, an O&EC tutor.

All are anxious to begin the second round of tutoring on January 17, 2023. Meanwhile the tutors devotedly continue their training in both Math Recovery® and the Barton Reading & Spelling System© during the break between sessions.

Church leaders are commenting, “We are most grateful for those willing hearts our God continues to send as volunteers and for the generous financial support we have received.”

For more information, please contact Sherry Lee Hornbacher at the Outreach and Education Center, 3912 O’Neal, Pueblo CO 81005, Registration information can be found at (look for the Tutoring Program K-12 tab).