Islanders Helping the Early Acceleration of Readers Together

Since 2018, Dr. Bethanie Pletcher and a team of colleagues, doctoral teaching assistants, and undergraduate students from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi have provided literacy instruction for first-grade children who find learning to read difficult. The IHEART intervention program began at JFK Elementary School in Corpus Christi's West Oso Independent School District. University student tutors work with small groups of children for 30 minutes two days per week during the school day. Tutors receive initial and ongoing professional development in phonological awareness, phonics, and text reading instruction. The program coordinators also visit tutors to observe and coach as they work alongside the children.

During the Fall 2022 semester, the IHEART coordinators handed over to the tutors the important task of assessing and grouping the children for instruction. This process was intended to mirror a classroom teacher’s work of administering assessments and differentiating instruction based on the results of these assessments. Our tutors did an incredible job, as usual, of engaging young learners at JFK.

In spring 2023, the IHEART team was inducted into the Texas A&M University System Chancellor’s Academy of Teacher Excellence. IHEART also expanded to a second campus, Gloria Hicks Elementary School in Corpus Christi Independent School District.


TAMU-CC IHEART Initiative Expands to CCISD, Earns Texas A&M University System Award (TAMU-CC)

TAMU-CC I-HEART program helping 1st grade students with reading, writing skills (KRIS)

IHeart Engages Children in Literacy-Focused Instruction (TAMU-CC)

West Oso ISD Touts Community Partnerships during State of the District (Corpus Christi Caller-Times)