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High Impact Tutoring

High Impact Tutoring (HIT) is a practical solution that can unlock the potential of millions of unschooled refugees. This tutoring is the heart of what we do at FORA. HIT is strongly associated with high rates of learning, so much so that recent research from the Annenberg Institute at Brown University recommends high dosage tutoring as the most effective response to address pandemic learning loss (Robinson, Kraft, Loeb, & Schueler, 2021).

In academic literature, HIT is typically defined as 5 or more tutoring hours per week at a ratio lower than five students per tutor. Because we at FORA serve the most marginalized of youth in the world, we go several steps further. Our HIT strategy is distinguished by:


1. At least ten hours a week of tutoring

2. No more than two students per tutor

3. High quality, individualized, and foundational curricula

4. Regular testing to identify educational gaps

5. Monitoring progress through high school


To our knowledge, we are the only organization in the United States delivering this high-power combination of HIT specifically targeted at refugee students.

This schedule requires a huge commitment from tutors and from the students and families, themselves, but the results are worth it. For example, after returning to in-person learning this summer, we had a super-charged, two-hour-per-day summer reading program for our elementary children. These children gained approximately six months of academic improvement in the eight weeks of the summer program! Low-income children typically suffer from summer learning loss, so our kids' outcomes are doubly impressive (Kim & Quinn, 2013).

But these remarkable results are not the full picture. What you can't see from just the data is the children’s overwhelming joy. The best moment of the day for us is when the children arrive, so excited to be here with us. One student summed up for her cohort how they feel about FORA, saying "at FORA, we are safe; FORA is our second home." FORA’s greatest strength is the relationships that our students build with their volunteer tutors and our staff. For our tutors and for our students, the friendships they develop usually feel like the most valuable result of their efforts. A focus on relationships is critical to sustaining student motivation through the years that are needed to catch up to their American peers and to flourish at grade level.


High Impact Tutoring provides a realistic opportunity for kids like "T" to reach grade level and aspire to college. It also provides the time and space for tutors and students to learn from mistakes, appreciate the gains made, and build resiliency so that learning is transformed from a confusing wilderness into a joyous discovery of both the world around us and ourselves.


Kim, J. S., & Quinn, D. M. (2013). The effects of summer reading on low-income children’s literacy achievement from Kindergarten to Grade 8. Review of Educational Research, 83(3), 386–431. Retrieved November 4, 2021, from

Robinson, C. D., Kraft, M. A., Loeb, S., & Schueler, B. E. (2021, February). Accelerating Student Learning with High Dosage Tutoring. EdResearch for Recovery. Annenberg Institute of Brown University. Retrieved November 4, 2021, from

Ross, D. B., & Ziemke, L. (2016, April). Promising literacy practices for students with interrupted formal education in achieving competence with academic language across disciplines. NSUWorks. Retrieved November 4, 2021, from

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