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Elementary School Kids Elementary School Kids

For the teachers- Question about volunteers

Posted by on Oct. 7, 2012 at 10:27 AM
  • 6 Replies

I am an AmeriCorps VISTA member that is stationed at an elementary school. My job description/goals is to recruit 20 volunteers who will commit to at least 20 hours of volunteer service over the course of the school year. I am also suppose to do parent involvement activities. I was at this school last year and in order to keep me the school had to pay a portion of my benefits. Since I did parent involvement activities, they were able to use Title 1- parent involvement funds to pay. So, naturally the school wants to me to do lots of parent involvement activities.

Here is the problem though. My supervisor who works at the nonprofit that received the grant and placed me at the school wants me to concentrate on getting 20 volunteers into a type of program that will focus on increasing student's academics. She wants me to target certain students based on their MAPS testing. Last year, I had a reading program and I recruited college students, community people, etc. I only had one come on a consistent basis. Our school is in a very rural area and it is not convenient for people to come visit on their lunch breaks. The teachers only want certain parents in the classrooms to help with academic things. They are welcome to help with admin support type projects (making copies, chaperoning field trips, etc). So, I focused on parent involvement activities that would educate the parents so that they can help their child at home. For some reason, this is not good enough for my supervisor but my principal loves what I am doing. 

Now for my question. What type of program can I do that will help increase student's scores who are academically struggling?

by on Oct. 7, 2012 at 10:27 AM
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Replies (1-6):
maxswolfsuit
by Max on Oct. 7, 2012 at 10:35 AM

Bumping for later.

Very quickly, the first thing that comes to mind is having people read to students and listen to students read. That's something an untrained volunteer can do that will help struggling readers immensely. 

KairisMama
by Bronze Member on Oct. 7, 2012 at 10:57 AM
Having people have students read a story aloud to them would be good. Have the student read a story, and then encourage them to look back into the story to find answers to questions being asked. Have them highlight parts of the story to prove their answer is correct. With MAP testing I notice many students don't look back in the story. It is allowed and encouraged, for good readers should reread and check for understanding.
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maxswolfsuit
by Max on Oct. 7, 2012 at 11:14 AM

You could also have volunteers do some research based reading activities with students. This would require training and they need to be there regularly. 

I'll google some and give you links. 


Kris_PBG
by on Oct. 7, 2012 at 11:17 AM

This.  My thoughts exactly.

Quoting maxswolfsuit:

Bumping for later.

Very quickly, the first thing that comes to mind is having people read to students and listen to students read. That's something an untrained volunteer can do that will help struggling readers immensely. 


maxswolfsuit
by Max on Oct. 7, 2012 at 11:18 AM

http://www.greatleaps.com/

Great Leaps is a great tool for building fluency. 

It's a book of leveled word lists and passages. The student reads the list or passage for one minute and a record is kept of how many words the child reads each day. 

It helps build word recognition and increase reading rate. I've gotten great results with it. 

It's pricey though. I don't remember exactly, but I think it's several hundred dollars for one kit. 

maxswolfsuit
by Max on Oct. 7, 2012 at 11:20 AM

http://quickreads.org/

Quick reads work on fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. 

The students read a passage several times and analyze it. They also answer comprehension questions. The passes are structured and have controlled vocabulary. The manual offers very specific instructions on how to use the books. This makes it great for volunteers without training in education. 

This one is pricey too I think. 

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