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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Rolling Readers Space Coast

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Educational Services

Mission: Uniting Brevard County elementary-aged children with books and caring adults to promote a community of life-long readers.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 5269 elementary students

Geographic areas served: Brevard County, Florida Title 1 Elementary Schools

Programs: Rolling Readers Space Coast has been sharing the joy of reading with Brevard County children since 1997. Our mission is to develop in children a desire to be life-long readers. Strong reading skills are the literacy foundation needed to help children achieve success in education. With well over 200 volunteers, we provide weekly read aloud sessions in classrooms (prekindergarten-sixth grade), and tutor/mentor services for struggling readers in second and third grades. During the 2016-17 school year, our mission reached out to 5,269 children, in 25 Brevard County Title 1 elementary schools. In March, each child received a hard cover book, a gift from their Rolling Reader volunteer. For some of the children, this is the first book they can call their very own. Rolling Readers is making a difference. . . one book at a time.

Community Stories

37 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am proud to say that I have served on the Board of Directors since 2009. This is by far one of the most deserving organizations that works tirelessly to make a difference in the lives of our children. The staff, board members, and countless volunteers dedicate their time and energy every day to fulfill the mission of Rolling Readers Space Coast.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Reading has always been one of my passions and when I saw an article in Florida Today about Rolling Readers 21 years ago I jumped at the opportunity. Yes, I have been with them since their inception and hope to continue many years to come.

I have encouraged friends to do the same and they come back to tell me what a joy it brings them when they see the excitement of the children when they enter the classroom to read to them.

When I walk into the classroom they almost knock me over from seeing me come to the classroom weekly to read to them. If I miss a week, they want to know why and where I went instead of coming to them. They love to read and once a year Rolling Readers gives them a book to keep and for some it is the only book they have and are so excited. I encourage them to read at home to brothers, sisters, and parents.

The bond I have formed with some of the children is unbelievable. I see them at the markets, malls and they come running up to me and the parents wonder who is that lady hugging my children. They immediately tell them who I am. The parents thank me for my time with them.

So you can see it does not stop in the classroom, I go on class trips, attend their concerts and graduations. I have become a part of their life. I even go to the HS plays and concerts and some of the children have recognized me.

They also have favorite authors and ask me to bring those books again, even if I have read them before.

My goal at the end of the school year has been to have them become passionate about reading as I have always been.

If anyone tells me they want to give back to the community, I tell them volunteer for Rolling Readers.

Kaye Koines

MaryPat E.

Board Member

Rating: 5

My mother co-found this organization in 1997 & has continued to thrive and serve and grow! I am proud to serve on the board, as our school contact, and with a great retired teacher/reader!

Previous Stories
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Board Member

Rating: 5

My late mother was a co-founder of this wonderful organization in 1997 with 2 of her lady friends! I hosted the 1st reader in my K class; she read to my classes for 20 yrs & was awarded a national award at corporate office in CA! I continue to have a volunteer reader & have served on our board for many years, carrying on my mother's passion & dream through the next generation!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’ve worked for them off and on when I can for the last several years, and the joy on the children’s faces when I read, and the joy that I see when I give them their very own special book as a present from Rolling Readers, is incomparable! It’s truly wonderful to see them come up to me when I get there holding their own books, either that they’ve been given by Rolling Readers, or that they’ve checked out for themselves at the library, and talk to me excitedly about what they are reading! Words cannot describe this wonderful service! Truly giving the joy of reading to children so they will later read for themselves!!❣️❣️❤️❤️❤️

2 Char G.1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Rolling Readers is simply essential to Brevard County and the Space Coast of Florida. Genuine and passionate volunteers like Merrie Sofet make this program simply the best!

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This program makes my friend just as happy as it does the kids!

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

I have friends who have been involved with Rolling Readers for a while and some for just this year. They have all been blessed more than the kids have in this program. It it such an experience to read to the children and see the smiles on their faces. And the children are so blessed to have someone to care enough to take the time to read to time. It may be the only time someone takes the time to read to them

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As a teacher, Rolling Readers is a great benefit to our students. It’s very important for our students to build their reading skills to help them be successful. I really appreciate the great work they do!

2 Eriny M.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Love rolling readers!! The best of Brevard spends time with kids , what a way to bring joy !!
My favorite reader is Merrie Sofet :)
She is talented and she is full of joy !! ❤️
Thank you for volunteering !

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Amazing organization!! Thank you for all you do with the children!

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have an amazing friend who volunteers with this organization and I can only imagine the smiles she brings to the children’s faces!! Keep up the good work!

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

For more than 20 years, RRSC staff members and volunteers have worked with Brevard County schools, teachers, and students to ensure our children develop the fundamental reading skills needed to excel in class and in our community. The bond and anticipation that grows each week between the classroom readers and the students is priceless and often results in an enhanced appreciation and love for reading that lasts a lifetime.

3 Merrie S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is my first school year as part of Rolling Readers Space Coast and I am LOVING EVERY MINUTE OF IT!! The kindergarten kiddies love the stories that I bring to read every week and I love their Joy, Energy, Fun and Excitement. It's contagious! I am also part of the Tutor/Mentor Team that meets one-on-one with 2nd graders who need help in Reading and Language Skills. What an amazing thing it is to help a child learn to read! Rolling Readers provides all the training and takes care of scheduling and coordinating with schools. All I have to do is show up and reap the benefits of helping a child learn to read. This entire program fills my heart with JOY!!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer reader and tutor for Rolling Readers Space Coast, Inc. (RRSC) for the past 8 years. It is impossible to express the tremendous amount of joy I get from reading too and tutoring the children that RRSC serves in Brevard County elementary schools. To see the smiles on student faces when I walk into their classroom each week with new books to read warms me through and through. And to listen to the improvements the children working on their reading skills make in the tutoring program each time they read a book and move to the next level, makes me feel good to know that my positive encouragement and support has given them the confidence to grow as readers. I truly love being a part of this wonderful organization!!

3

Donor

Rating: 5

I'm so excited about my relationship with Rolling Readers Space Coast. The staff and volunteers make this a wonderful organization to work with in serving the needs of children.

Even though my relationship with them has only been for a short while, the impact that I see on the face of the children, teachers and parents have been absolutely overwhelming in terms of the program reach and effectiveness. Rolling Readers Space Coast has now been in operations for more than 20 years and it now has generations of kids who are either in high school now or even college,that owe their love of reading to this great organization.

I'm very proud to be called a Rolling Reader and I expect their effectiveness to last for years to come.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Since starting with Rolling Readers Space Coast, I've had the opportunity to work with a large number of students in the county. I participate in the Read Aloud program and the Reading Skills program. All the children are very excited for the read aloud, and I can see how our program encourages them to love reading. As for the reading skills, those children get access to one-on-one help in improving their reading skills that they wouldn't get otherwise. Overall I believe this nonprofit has an amazing idea, and they're working very hard for children's futures. I'm happy to be a part of it.

3 Patal

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My first grade kids that I read to LOVE having a story read to them...I work closely with the teachers to make sure I can read books that are relevant to what the kids are learning and the stories be age appropriate....If I can, I try to do "show and tell" with items that I have collected in my travels around the world. My dad read to me every night while I was growing up...and a lot of children do not have that in their lives in our present world for many reasons...I know that the kids really enjoy the books that I read to them and so do the teachers...It gives the teachers a break too and since I LOVE to READ ..I`m hoping the kids will feel the same way !!!

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Glory of the written word.....How can one describe the beauty of snow-capped mountains, the rush of ocean waves upon the shore, the vast yellowish-brown expanse of the desert, ,the majesty of stately elk in a forest....I am so glad that my dad, despite never finishing grade school, was an avid reader. He had a tall bookcase in the attic of our home which I devoured as I got old enough to read better. He also read "Fairy stories" to me at night which he had gotten from the library, .,,and instilled in me an unquenchable thirst for reading. I am now retired and read to first grade chjldren through the Rolling Readers program in Brevard County Florida...Always striving to instill that thirst for Reading !!!

2 Susan101.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization offers volunteers a real chance to work inside local public school classrooms and help make a difference for our low-income, at-risk elementary students. For 30 minutes each week, I read aloud stories, encourage children to improve their reading skills and help them discover the joy of books. It is as if we have our own “book club” and the goal is to get them to want to read!

Reading literacy is the foundation for all education. Even the Supreme Court weighed in on the importance of reading by stating that “...Illiteracy is an enduring disability, the inability to read and write will handicap the individual deprived of a basic education each and every day of his life.”

I can’t think of a better use of my time then to reach out and offer support to our community children. What can be more rewarding? Rolling Readers has made that possible for me for 18 years, and they make that possible every year for hundreds of other volunteers as well.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

Walking into a classroom of young elementary children and spending 30 minutes with them reading aloud books starts my morning off with a smile. With each book, we explore new ideas, learn new words, discover new facts and best of all, together we share the experience of reading a book. Through Rolling Readers, I have been able to bring my love of reading to children and most importantly, encourage each child to make reading a part of their life.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first became a volunteer with Rolling Readers Space Coast in 2003. I read to a kindergarten class and a first grade class. I thoroughly enjoyed myself, but could not continue the following year because I was working five days a week. A few years ago, the college where I worked went to a four day work week, so I decided to get involved with Rolling Readers again. I have been a classroom reader for the past two years where I have read to first and second graders for half an hour one day a week. Each week I go to the library or go to our library website and choose books to share with the children. When they see the envelope containing the due date card, they instantly recognize the book as coming from the library. As we read the story, we talk about vocabulary, the illustrations and other reading skills associated with critical thinking. The children are so eager to share and participate and their insights are often right on track as well as wonderfully amusing! They entertain me as much as I am hoping to entertain them! Additionally, the teachers are so appreciative and give me such a warm welcome when I come into the classroom. The time I spend there is often the highlight of my week! I have always loved books and being a Rolling Reader allows me to share my love of reading. One of my favorite days is when I get to hand out the free books we are privileged to give to the children in the classrooms where we read. The children are so excited and pleased with their new book and when we read it together, sometimes they take it literally and they read out loud with me! What fun! Rolling Readers Space Coast is certainly a worthy organization as they reinforce and inspire the love of reading to our future generations!

2 Mary G.8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been an advocate and volunteer for many organizations since forced medical retirement in 2004. NONE as given me the enjoyment and feeling of accomplishment as being a Rolling Reader Space Coast has done for me.
I have always had a deep love of reading beginning as a child and continuing now as a senior. I shared this love of reading with my daughter as an infant and with my grand children as well. Now I get to bring this joy to elementary school students in Palm Bay, FL through this amazing program. You know you have touched the lives of those you read to when they see you in a local store, and come running to you screaming your name so they can give you a hug. When they bring me to their parents to introduce me...you can't remove the smile from my face.
Thank You Rolling Readers Space Coast!!!

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

Rolling Readers Spacecoast (RRSC) is an awesome non-profit that does a tremendous job in supporting the Brevard County Florida community children. RRSC is focused on connecting children with reading, promoting their love of reading and enlightening those who may not otherwise be exposed to the love of reading. This is accomplished through volunteer readers, fundraising, and book giveaways in their community. RRSC has several programs to include Read Aloud
(classroom group reading) and small group and one-on-one mentoring programs. Here are some quick facts from 2016 school year:

26 Elementary Schools Served

172 Read Aloud Volunteers Read to
290 Classrooms Filled with 5215 Students

39 Tutor/Mentor Volunteers Helped
54 Students Improve Reading Skills

5269 Children Received a Gift Book During Our Annual Give-Away
764 Additional Books Distributed from Community Donations Received


But, it doesn't stop with just reading in classrooms. Rolling Readers Spacecoast also collaborates with community libraries to hold “PJ Night at the Library”. RRSC reads stories to pajama clad kids and their parents and encourages “out of classroom” reading. The evening also has time for each child/family to obtain a library card and check out a book. Does it work? One parent shared with RRSC that she was not a good reader, but she wanted her daughter to love books, hence the reason she was attending PJ night. Mission accomplished!

RRSC also partners with Junior League, Boys and Girls Club, United Way and others to support and run Summer Slide programs that are aimed at maintaining reading level of students over the summer so they do not “slide” or regress in their reading abilities.

Here are a few testimonials from educators, school site coordinators, and RRSC volunteers.

"This was our first year with Rolling Readers, and we have been extremely pleased with the program. I have heard nothing but positive responses from my teachers. Thank you for supporting our school."
~ Elementary Site Coordinator

"I am very impressed with the Rolling Reader volunteers and the gains that my students make each year due to their diligence and efforts. Thank you for the opportunity to have Rolling Readers present in our schools."
~ Elementary School Teacher

"This is by far the most heart-warming volunteer job I have ever taken. When the kids spy me at the door, their excitement is overwhelming. My greatest challenge is for the book I have selected to read and share with them, will encourage them and reaffirm the tremendous joy and knowledge they can get from reading. During the Dr. Seuss Birthday week I quoted and we discussed his saying, 'The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn the more places you'll go.' "
~ Read Aloud Volunteer

Community enrichment is alive and well thanks to Rolling Readers Spacecoast. There is no question why RRSC should be considered One Great Non Profit.




2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We have many volunteers who love to go to a classroom and read to the children.

The children, teacher, and I are excited to have this experience in their classroom.

We always with the teachers tell the children how important it is to be able to read books, etc.

I try to always reward the children who listen and obey the classroom rules while I am there.

Rolling Readers is a wonderful program that shows our love of reading to the children and how important it is to them.

Sandy Gulbrandsen

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

For the past 20 years, Rolling Readers Space Coast has been an welcome presence for young children in Title 1 classrooms throughout our community. Hundreds of volunteers meet with thousands of children every week to share their love of reading and inspire children to do the same. Many children receive the first book their family has ever had through the generosity of the Brevard County School System and our loyal sponsors. Rolling Readers has made a profound and lasting impact for two generations and is poised to continue into the future.

I have been a Board Member since 2011.

Mark Broms

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love the opportunity to connect with a school in my community. They really appreciate my presence there each week and I get to see kids get excited about reading as the year goes on. This is my third year and it is truly a highlight of my week ❤️

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Thank you for allowing me to share my enthusiasm for Rolling Readers Space Coast! It all started when my husband got honored as a "Community Literacy Advocate" in 2016. During the event that acknowledged such literacy leaders, I learned about the Rolling Readers mission and was affected by the issue of reading aloud to children in our local schools and by the quality of our RRSC organization. The ladies that work tirelessly in our Rolling Readers office are dedicated to the cause, efficient, communicative and friendly. I also worked with RRSC during their Summer program that was held at a local Boys and Girls Club. Our goal was to help these kids keep up their reading skills throughout the Summer and to keep the love of reading alive. I was again impressed with the organization, the activities that they developed and choice of reading materials for the very needy kids that we dealt with. Our Rolling Reader Space Coast employees and volunteers are so very compassionate about reading. You continue to enrich many lives! Thank you!

Previous Stories
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Volunteer

Rating: 5

A child that reads, soars! I am so profoundly grateful that Rolling Readers came into my life! I learned of their mission, but had no idea the impact that it would have on children, and on me, until I participated in their reading program. LIke Rolling Readers Space Coast, I place a high value on getting kids excited about reading. The work they do through a vast, dedicated volunteer network goes above and beyond excitement! Because of volunteering in the RRSC program, I saw faces light up when reading concepts were grasped, I saw imaginations grow as the books we read together were discussed, I saw hearts and compassion open up like never before. When you see a child's face light up clutching their very own book, given to them by Rolling Readers Space Coast, you see hope in the future. As a bonus, I was appreciated and loved by the children and teachers. Rolling Readers Space Coast, YOU soar! Thank you for this opportunity! But most of all, thank you for what you are doing to enhance the lives and literacy of future generations!

1 Mason W.1

Donor

Rating: 5

Love this organization!!!! It turns kids on to the fantastic, imaginative and life-building world of reading. What could be more important? Being able to read is one of the proven keys to success for our young people. And these kids soak it up. Reading to them is a blast!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer for 5 years and the experience with this organization has been wonderful! I have been a volunteer reader in Grades K - 5 and a small group tutor. Every age is receptive to a reader in their classroom who shares the love of reading. Throughout the year in all the programs, it is a joy to see the children improve and become excited about reading. There are the children who remember vocabulary from the stories and the children who tell you they went to the library to get more books from an author presented during the reading.
Witnessing the joyful expression on a child's face as a story is read to them is priceless!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first volunteered for Rolling Readers Space Coast, Inc. in 2009 as a Tutor/Mentor. Since then I have also had the pleasure of being a Reader for their Read Aloud program. What a joy it is to know that I have helped children develop their reading skills, shown them how much fun it is to read, and helped them understand that the better they can read, the more they can do with their lives! Every little bit helps, that is for sure! It is amazing the positive impact that this small literacy organization, celebrating their 20th Year of Service, has had on 5,000+ students, their parents, teachers, and the community surrounding community.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Being a part of Rolling Readers Space Coast Inc has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. The students are so receptive and excited when "The Rolling Reader Lady" arrives. I really love sharing my enjoyment of reading and hope it will encourage them to always be interested in books and reading.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Working directly with students using resources provided by rolling readers. Poor readers hate to read. Rolling readers program helps struggling students learn the building blocks to reading so they know reading can be fun.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a second grade Read Aloud volunteer for twelve years. Each year is a treasure. Sharing books, ideas, thoughts and experiences with these students is one of the highlights of the week. To watch their understanding of literature grow throughout the school year is a joy.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!