The Total Learning Classroom (TLC) program supports whole-school learning outcomes in kindergarten through third grade by providing schools with Scholar Coaches, who are AmeriCorps members trained in evidence-based literacy interventions and deliver effective literacy tutoring to students and support teacher-led priorities, and Systems Coaches, who provide ongoing coaching to Scholar Coaches and help school leaders with decisions and practices that affect entire grades or the whole school. 

Study Goals

The goal of this study was to evaluate the literacy outcomes of students attending schools that participate in the TLC program by comparing learning outcomes for two groups of students. One group of students were in classrooms at TLC schools that had Scholar Coach supporting learning activities. The other group of students were in classrooms at TLC schools without a Scholar Coach. This evaluation provides insights into the effect of having a Scholar Coach in a TLC classroom over and above the effect of having a Systems Coach assigned to the school.

Research Question

The evaluation study was designed to answer the following question:

To what extent do students in classrooms assigned a Scholar Coach demonstrate higher literacy scores relative to similar students in classrooms without a Scholar Coach?


The evaluation found that:

  1. Baseline assessment scores were correlated with post assessment scores. 
  2. The presence of a Scholar Coach was positively associated with an increase in correct letter sounds in kindergarten, even after controlling for baseline scores as well as whether a student received tutoring, but that was the only grade where this finding was observed. 
  3. Students who received tutoring tended to have higher scores in kindergarten and 2nd grade, although this relationship was not present among 1st graders (for correct nonsense words), or 3rd graders (for CBM-Reading).

Full report

Further information

Total Learning Classroom
Implementing Organization
Reading & Math Inc
AmeriCorps Program(s)
AmeriCorps State and National
Age(s) Studied
0-5 (Early childhood)
6-12 (Childhood)
Outcome Category
K-12 success
Study Design(s)
Quasi-experimental (QED)
Level of Evidence
Amanuel Medhanie (Parsimony)
Published Year
Study Site Location (State)