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Contact Information

NSU Reading Clinic

Dr. Timothy Houge, Director

Gerber 147
1200 S. Jay St.
Aberdeen, S.D.  57401
Phone: 605-626-3169

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Northern Education major with elementary student
1. Who is the director of the reading clinic?
Click HERE to learn more about reading clinic Director Dr. Timothy Houge.
2. What services does the clinic provide?
Prior to instruction, all of the children are administered two formal assessments—the Gray Oral Reading Test-5 (GORT-5) and the Test of Written Spelling-4 (TWS-4). These assessment tools provide our tutors with a measurement of students’ reading accuracy, fluency, comprehension, and spelling skills; allow tutors to attain information about their students’ reading and spelling strengths and weaknesses; and document students’ progress after receiving 14 one-to-one literacy tutoring sessions.
Each child is assigned one tutor who, under the observation of Dr. Houge, maps out a tentative course of instruction. The tutor constantly monitors progress and adjusts instruction as needed. Instruction typically focuses around fluency, vocabulary, oral guided reading, writing, and reading aloud.
3. Do parents receive a report of their child's progress?
At the midpoint of the semester, parental conferences are held to report progress and make recommendations for future growth. The parental conference is followed with a written report sent to the home address after all instruction is completed. It provides a description of the reading/writing diagnosis, instruction, and recommendations.
4. How old does the child have to be?
We work with children in grades 1-8.
5. Do the children need to have reading difficulties?
Any child that parents feel will benefit from our program is welcome. This means that if your child is reading above, at, or below grade level they may attend our clinic. We believe that if parents feel the school is not challenging their child, who is reading above grade level, then by all means bring them to the clinic to receive instruction that will be at their level of reading. We also believe that children who are reading and writing at grade level deserve the opportunity to receive one-to-one tutoring in the reading clinic to reinforce their level of reading and writing or move them ahead. Finally, children reading and writing below grade level are welcome to attend the reading clinic to receive one-to-one instruction in reading and writing.
6. What type of instruction occurs during each tutoring session?
For one hour, your child's tutor will use a variety of instructional activities, the length of which depends on your child's age.  For example, the tutor will do more activities for shorter periods of time when working with a first-grader compared to working with a sixth-grader.  All tutors follow an instructional plan.
Instruction is designed to improve the two main areas of literacy: vocabulary (reading and spelling words) and comprehension.
  • Vocabulary Instruction - Approximately 15-20 minutes is dedicated to phonics or vocabulary instruction: teaching the relationship between letters and sounds, how to translate printed text into pronunciation, and word meanings.


  • Comprehension Instruction - For 15-20 minutes, tutors build your child's comprehension skills by teaching them the common literary elements. ALL authors use these elements when writing picture books and fiction or nonfiction texts for young adults and adults; therefore, they are useful for ALL ages. Providing instruction and practice with these literary elements - using interesting, well- written literature - increases your child's ability to grasp the concept of the author talking to them through the printed word. 

7. I am an education major/reading tutor. Where can I find research and information related to the Reading Clinic?

Visit the Resources for Education Majors Page.

 Northern Education majors with elementary students