I became a volunteer for Rolling Readers Space Coast, Inc. in 2009. I was a tutor for their one-on-one 2nd Grade Reading Skills Program. I worked with four (4) students who needed just a little more one-on-one time to improve their reading proficiency. I was thrilled when each student began to improve in the areas of comprehension and fluency and achieved their reading goals. One student, in particular, whose first language was not English, began to really blossom. Seeing them all move on to 3rd grade with renewed confidence in themselves as proficient readers was a joy! I love this organization so much that when they asked me to come work for them as part of a grant during 2010-11, I accepted. The grant has since expired, and I am still here as a part-time Program Coordinator, helping to schedule volunteers for all three of our programs, with a focus on the one-on-one program I used to do, and our 3rd Grade, Grade-Level Reading Intervention Program.
I have always been passionate about reading and wanting to see all young children have opportunities for educational advancement. So when I looked to my community for a place to serve, Rolling Readers came to the top of my list. This outstanding literacy organization places volunteers in one of three programs within the Title One schools in Brevard county. I have the privilege of volunteering in the tutor/mentor program. We work throughout the school year in a one-on-one relationship with reluctant second grade readers. It is amazing that when you give a little extra time and attention, a young child will blossom in front of your eyes. Last year I worked with a second grade little boy. Spanish was his first language and the only language spoken at home. Although he could read aloud the English words and understand each word separately, he did not seem to comprehend the entire story concept and his fluency was very very choppy. One day I can to tutor and he could not summarize what he had read the day before. I told him I would read aloud to him, up to where he had stopped. As I read, I made sure to be animated, giving all the characters their own voice. When it came time for my little reader to begin, he picked up right where I had left off. He was so filled with expression, but better yet, the entire story came together and he had complete understanding of the text. This was my student's true window of opportunity. From there, he just took off...his future bright. He became a reader!