Reading is key to success in school, but one third of Florida’s third grade students struggle with this basic skill and cannot read at minimally proficient levels. To address this problem, ReadingPals, a statewide, three-year initiative sponsored by United Way, is being launched to engage, encourage and enhance early literacy among pre-kindergarten through third grade students in lower-performing schools. The program is being funded through a grant from Carol and Barney Barnett of Publix Super Markets, Inc.
Partners in this new program include The Children’s Movement, United Way of Broward County, the Broward School District’s Youth Mentoring Programs Office, Women’s Leadership Council, Early Learning Coalitions and Children’s Services Council of Broward County.
Two Broward schools will serve as pilot locations for the program. Beginning October 15, students at Pompano Beach Elementary School and Endeavour Primary Learning Center in Lauderhill will be teamed with trained volunteer mentors who will work one-on-one or with small groups with students to read a series of three books. When each book is completed, the students will get to keep it and take the book home. All pre-kindergarten through third grade students at both schools will receive the books, however, the number of students taking part in the ReadingPals program will be determined by the number trained volunteers available. Volunteer mentors will spend one hour a week for a minimum of 25 weeks.
On Monday, September 24, 2012, 9 – 11 a.m. A ReadingPals training will be held at Pompano Beach Elementary School, 700 NE 13th Avenue, Pompano Beach. Not only will mentors be trained, they will tour the school, meet the students and staff and begin reading with students.
For more information on ReadingPals or to sign-up to become a volunteer, contact Lola Jordan at 954-462-4850 ext. 143 or (firstname.lastname@example.org).