This is a state-wide literacy mentoring program for children in kindergarten through third grade. Volunteer mentors meet twice a week with students after school to help them improve their literacy comprehension and basic reading skills. This is a free program for students who are referred by their teachers.
Bonita Springs: Bonita Springs Elementary School
- For more information contact: Carol Kirchdorfer, Bonita Springs YMCA READS! Coordinator, at 239-221-7560.
Englewood: Myakka River and Englewood elementary schools
- For more information contact: Linda Ware, Englewood YMCA READS! Coordinator, at 941-475-1234.
Venice: Garden Elmentary School and Laurel Nokomis School
- For more information at Garden Elementary, contact: Jenna Ferretti, Venice YMCA READS! Coordinator, at 941-716-2056 or 941-375-9107.
- For more information at Laurel Nokomis School, contact: Melissa Abreu, YMCA READS! Coordinator, at 941-525-4092.
Enrollment in Y READS!
Students are referred to YMCA READS! by their classroom teacher. Once the referral is received an application is sent home to be completed by the parent(s)/guardian(s). Students are then either admitted to the program or placed on a waiting list.
When a student starts the YMCA Reads! program they are given a placement test by the YMCA READS! teacher to determine their current reading level so that they start learning at a “just right” level. Students are consistently monitored to make sure the curriculum is at their “just right” level so that they never feel bored or frustrated. The students will be taught using “SIPPS (Systematic Instruction in Phonological Awareness, Phonics, and Sight Words) which uses instructional materials which offer a systemic approach to decoding that helps students gain reading fluency and comprehension.” (devstu.org, 2013) Just like a report card, students will receive a quarterly progress report which will be sent home to inform the students’ families of their progress.
All students are expected to adhere to the code of conduct.
Students will meet with a mentor several times a week. The times and days may vary depending on your child's school and level of help needed, but expect for meetings be held at least twice per week. Once the student’s application is received and processed a YMCA Reads! teacher will contact the student’s parent(s)/guardian(s) to inform them of the days and times the student will meet with their mentor.
Giving the time to mentor a child in reading can have an enormous impact on their life. Your involvement in YMCA READS! can do more than teach reading skills: it can boost self esteem, imagination, and increase a child's ability to succeed in the classroom and make a difference in their life.
No experience is necessary. Training and ongoing support by a certified educator will be provided for you. Student volunteers can earn community service hours while gaining experience working with children in an educational setting. Adult volunteers can gain experience to further their careers, enhance an interest, or simply receive satisfaction for "giving back to the community." A minimum of only 1 to 1.5 hours one to two times per week is required.
The READS! Program is always in need of qualified, committed volunteers to help children learn to read. If you have a desire to teach children and a large heart, please help us bring the gift of literacy to a child. Seniors and or High School Students are welcome. All mentors will be required to complete an application, submit fingerprints for a background check, and sign and have an affidavit of good moral character notarized. All mentors will be required to adhere to the YMCA of the USA’s Child Abuse Prevention Code of Conduct.