[wpcol_1half id]Volunteer Florida administers AmeriCorps funding for high-impact service organizations across Florida. Florida’s outstanding AmeriCorps members have taken the pledge to “Get things done for America” and Volunteer Florida is proud to highlight a Polk County AmeriCorps member making a difference!

AmeriCorps member Bessie Foster serves with Polk Reads – a Volunteer Florida AmeriCorps grantee in Polk County. Bessie provides three thirty-minute, one-on-one reading tutoring sessions per week to at-risk students who are below grade reading level. These one-on-one sessions target the five components of effective reading – phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary development, reading fluency and reading comprehension.

Through Bessie’s unwavering dedication, a student who was struggling to keep up with his fellow peers and lacked the confidence to read aloud in small groups grew his reading scores by 23% during the school year. Bessie’s second grade student, Craven, started with a 9% sight-word recognition and a level 7 reading comprehension – making him a Late Emergent Reader. Bessie served over 50 over hours during the school year working with Craven to improve his reading comprehension and vocabulary. Craven ended the school year with 84% sight-word recognition, an Early Star Literacy score of 822, and a reading comprehension level of 22 – making Craven a Probable Reader. Craven now expresses his love for reading and has since participated in small groups with confidence. Way to go, Bessie![/wpcol_1half] [wpcol_1half_end id]

AmeriCorps member Bessie Foster during Martin Luther King Day at Socrum Elementary School located in Polk County