Literacy First: The Power of the Paraprofessional


The science of teaching reading and effectiveness of high dosage tutoring is very clear, but how can we ensure we have enough trained professionals to teach students that need additional support? Over the past 30 years, Literacy First, a program within the University of Texas, has learned that for intensive, early-reading tutoring, novice paraprofessionals can be as effective as certified educators. Join us for a conversation on the characteristics of effective paraprofessionals and program supports necessary to implement highly-effective early-reading interventions.

Additional Supporting Materials


  1. In an intensive early-reading tutoring program, novice paraprofessionals can be as effective as certified educators.
  2. Paraprofessionals are often from the community they serve and share the identities of their students, which we believe leads to effectiveness.
  3. We find that our paras return year after year, gaining the skills of a reading specialist or accruing credentials to enter a career in education.



Claire Hagen Alvarado, Director, Literacy First, University of Texas

Meta Information:

  • Tags: implementation, instruction
  • Event: EDU
  • Format: Conversation
  • Track: Teaching & Learning
  • Session Focus Area K-12 Education
  • Level: Deep Understanding

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