Mentoring Matters

Reading proficiency by third grade is the most important predictor of high school graduation and career success. In fact, studies prove that children without reading skills by end of third grade are four times less likely to graduate high school. When poverty is added, they are thirteen times less likely. That poses a serious challenge for schools who are serving large populations of low-income students.

Through a collaborative initiative funded by the Children’s Services Council, that draws together Big Brothers Big Sisters, St. Lucie Public Schools and “ordinary citizens”, our community is meeting that challenge. Local residents who are willing to obtain the training needed to tutor K–3 students in reading in schools or afterschool programs are working to provide struggling readers with more opportunities to read using research-based tutoring methods—helping improve student reading levels and ultimately increasing their chances of long-term educational success.

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Big Brothers Big Sisters AmeriCorps volunteer Xavier started working with his little at Mariposa Elementary during the last school year.  Though his student tried his best and made significant gains, he was required to attend summer school. When he arrived at summer school to receive his class assignment, his teacher asked all the students who their heroes were and he proudly said Xavier was his hero and that he missed seeing him. Luckily, Xavier was there to spend the summer with him.
As summer school came to a close, Xavier and his little learned that their work had paid off and he would be moving on to fourth grade!
You can get involved just like Xavier or through other programs that require just one hour per week. Learn more at www.stluciereads.org.
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