City Year Chicago Corps Member Helps Children Worldwide Become Better Spellers

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America Learns recognizes AmeriCorps member for her innovative tutoring strategy.

America Learns announced today that a tutoring strategy created by City Year Chicago corps member Amber Jones has been named June's America Learns Strategy of the Month. Lis David created her spelling practice strategy, "Adventures in Spelling," when she saw her students getting bored with traditional studying techniques. "Adventures in Spelling" is now available as a free download to the thousands of educators and mentors America Learns serves nationwide and to the thousands of teachers, tutors, mentors and parents worldwide who subscribe to America Learns' Strategy of the Month e-newsletter.

David has served with City Year Chicago, an AmeriCorps grantee, since July 2007. AmeriCorps is a federal program that helps nonprofit organizations to engage Americans of all ages in service to their communities. David decided to serve as an AmeriCorps member with City Year Chicago to help determine whether she would enjoy teaching as a career.

David's strategy, "Adventures in Spelling," involves creating a game board on a piece of paper that looks like a road. Along the road, the tutor draws four or five obstacles that represent students' current spelling words. So if a student had a list of words that had to do with a forest, the tutor might draw a log in the road, a bear, and a river. When students either land on the obstacle or roll a number high enough to pass it, students have to stop and write out the word that represents that obstacle before moving forward. You can read the complete instructions and download a sample game board at

"Lis David is a pleasure to work with," said Dan Yoder, Program Director, City Year Chicago. "She always goes the extra mile, especially with her tutoring."

"Rather than fighting her students' boredom by trying to motivate them to keep practicing spelling words in a traditional format, Lis created an innovative game that truly engages students in the studying process," said Gary Kosman, Founder and CEO, America Learns. "We also love that 'Adventures in Spelling' can be adapted in a number of ways to help students learn the meaning of their spelling words as well. Individuals can read about those adaptations on our website at"

About City Year Chicago
As tutors and mentors, City Year Chicago corps members provide critically needed services to some of Chicago's most underserved youth. City Year Chicago is a part of City Year's signature program, the City Year youth service corps each year unites more than 1,400 young people age 17-24 for a demanding year of full-time community service, leadership development, and civic engagement. These young leaders come from diverse backgrounds and put their idealism to work by tutoring and mentoring school children, reclaiming public spaces, and organizing after-school programs, school vacation camps, and the Starfish Corps, Young Heroes, and City Heroes programs. Learn more about City Year Chicago at or by calling 312-464-9899

About America Learns, LLC:
Los Angeles-based America Learns is a global educational performance and accountability firm reaching more than 20,000 students worldwide. The company's flagship service, the America Learns Network, helps organizations to simultaneously collect their educators' best practices from the field, share those strategies with educators as soon as they need them, and measure educators' performance. Organizations using its services include universities (e.g., Dwight Hall at Yale, Duke University, UC Berkeley, and the University of Michigan), community-based nonprofits, after-school programs, and school districts (e.g., the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools and the Minneapolis Public Schools). The company also creates and publishes high quality, meaningful, stress-free learning resources for children that are steeped in relevant research and practice. Learn more at or by calling 310-689-0542.


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