JACKSON, La. (BRPROUD) — Teach for America is working to confront educational inequity by recruiting and placing corps members as teachers in underserved schools and districts.

“And so we launched a program called the Ignite Fellowship that takes college students from all across the country, trains them, how to build relationships with students and how to deliver literacy instruction,” Teach for America Executive Director Laura Vinsant said.

Ignite Fellowship is a virtual high-impact tutoring program where undergraduate students can play a part in double reading proficiency for students.

Lauren May, an Ignite Fellowship trainer and teacher at Jackson Elementary School in East Feliciana Parish, helps support the program by getting college students equipped to tutor and lead small-group learning sessions.

“We also are working at a deficit from COVID-19. A lot of these are students who are in kindergarten and first grade. Those really essential years, for learning reading, we’re working at home where families weren’t always fully equipped to know how to support their students. But we also know that we have work to do to make sure we can accelerate kids and catch them up to where they need to be,” May said

Meanwhile, Vinsant says the program’s goal is to have more than 80% of students excel in reading by 2030.

She also said they hope to expand to other school districts and underserved communities.