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.
Englewood: Myakka River and Englewood elementary schools
Students at both Englewood and Myakka River Elementary School 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 at Englewood Elementary School will meet with a mentor twice per week either on a Monday and Wednesday, or Tuesday and Thursday. Classes are held before school from 6:45am to 8:30am or after school from 3:15pm to 5:15pm. 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.
Students at Myakka River Elementary School will meet with a mentor twice per week either on a Monday and Wednesday, or Tuesday and Thursday. Classes are held before school from 6:45am to 8:30am or after school from 2:35-4:35pm. 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.
Venice: Garden Elementary
The READS Program of the SKY Family YMCA and Garden Elementary will be sending out invitations in October to current Kindergarten students and in August to current First, Second, and Third grade students based on need.
YMCA READS! This summer will take place at Garden Elementary in Portable 16, and is staffed by a full-time educator and YMCA volunteer tutors who have been trained to work with your child using research-based reading intervention strategies.
Your child will meet with a tutor four times a week for 4 (½ hour sessions), or two times a week for two 2 hours each day if your child is in grades 1-3. They will participate in a variety of targeted activities to improve overall reading performance. Because research has shown that it is important to have consistency with reading practice, we ask that you make a commitment to your child’s attendance at all weekly sessions until his/her teacher deems that he/she no longer needs the program.
Y READS! will be held on Mondays and Tuesdays 3:00-5:00 and Wednesday-Thursday from 3:00-5:00 pm from September until the end of the school year.
Some first grade students will be pulled during the school day instead of afterschool hours and the coordinator will contact you for more information about your child if they are being pulled during that time.
Y READS! for kindergarten will be held Monday-Thursdays during the school day from 2:10-2:45 pm.
If your child is enrolled in the YMCA afterschool program, transportation to and from that program, will be provided by the YMCA staff by bus. If your child is not in afterschool care at the YMCA, you will need to pick up him/her at Garden Elementary in Portable 16 at 5:00 pm.
Scholarships for the YMCA after school care are available. For more information about afterschool care please call the YMCA at 375-9119.
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.