Teach for America launched an effective tutoring program to accelerate learning for students in eastern North Carolina

The following is a press release from Teach for America

Teach For America North Carolina today announced the launch of the Ignite Fellowship, a high-impact tutoring initiative in partnership with Bertie County Public Schools, Edgecombe County Public Schools and Henderson Collegiate that provides customized small-group learning opportunities for students who are learning should accelerate and promote belonging.

Drawn from a national talent pool of exceptional and diverse leaders, Ignite Fellows are part of a historic expansion of Teach For America’s service in North Carolina. Teach For America will continue to drive change through its network of more than 2,200 Corps members and alumni leaders living and working across North Carolina, and Ignite Tutors will provide personalized learning experiences for students while receiving coaching and support from experienced teachers.

Developed in part to fill pandemic-related learning gaps, the program is transforming how and with whom learning occurs, virtually connecting students with exceptional and diverse leaders from across the country who have a dual focus on academic acceleration and social-emotional learning lay. Students need to connect with educators to develop academically, and Ignite Scholars focus on building relationships and fostering belonging by respecting students’ diverse identities, affirming their ability to succeed, and validating their agency and contributions recognize.

The Ignite program model leverages best practices for effective tutoring, including alignment with the school’s academic curriculum, a low peer-to-student ratio, and sessions that occur at least three times a week during the school day. Scholars receive ongoing training from Teach For America and its schools, and Teach For America measures students’ academic and personal growth through surveys and school-based assessments.

“This fall, Ignite has doubled its impact, growing to meet demand from school partners in 10 new states; We are very excited to add North Carolina to this group,” said Katie Tennessen Hooten, senior vice president of the Ignite Fellowship. “Thanks to existing close relationships and a shared vision for impact, we were able to launch the Ignite program this fall under the visionary leadership of Dr. Monique Perry-Graves and principals from Bertie County and Edgecombe County Public Schools bring to North Carolina and Henderson Collegiate.”

Teach For America is committed to diversifying the teaching workforce and removing barriers to the teaching profession because research shows students benefit from having teachers who share their racial and cultural backgrounds. The Ignite Fellowship brings a diverse group of exceptional, equal leaders into the virtual classroom to expand access to individualized learning for students in eastern North Carolina.

In its pilot year, the 2021-2022 school year, the Ignite Fellowship brought 728 tutors to dozens of public schools across the country, 61% of whom identified as Black, Indigenous, or people of color. Nearly 100% of the founding Fellows cohort reported gaining new insights into the state of education and its role in working towards educational equity.

“We strive to build capacity in classrooms in innovative and responsive ways to help students catch up on lost learning, and this first service expansion for Teach For America in North Carolina fits that said dr Monique Perry-Graves, General Manager of Teach For America North Carolina. “We hope Ignite will provide students with the support they need to succeed while also attracting a diverse cohort of strong leaders to North Carolina who are committed to educational equity.”

The Ignite Fellowship is one of several key initiatives Teach For America has launched to make progress toward its 2030 goal of doubling the number of students completing key educational milestones achieve, indicating that they are on the path to economic mobility and collaboration. create a future full of possibilities.

“What differentiates Teach For America in some ways is our ability to leverage our national talent pool to attract leaders to serve the state in the service of educational equity—Ignite is no different,” said Dr. Perry-Graves. “We need as many leaders as possible in this work to holistically meet the needs of our students now, especially in North Carolina.”

Since 1990, Teach For America has brought nearly 4,000 leaders to North Carolina who work with communities across the state to expand educational opportunities for students. Each year, Teach For America sponsors and supports more than 225 teacher leaders in school districts and charter school networks in eastern North Carolina, Charlotte and the Piedmont Triad. These Corps members impact over 19,000 North Carolina public school students each year. In addition, Teach For America North Carolina supports the leadership development of the more than 2,200 alumni who continue to live, work and worship in our great state.


EdNC’s staff reporting draws on staff, interns, and columnists.