Holualoa School Seeking Volunteers for Reading Program
Volunteers work with struggling students for 30 minutes, twice a week to reinforce reading skills and strategies learned in class while providing them with special oneon-one time with an adult role model.
Volunteers also have the option to aid teachers in the classroom for 90-minute blocks.
IGNITE’s goal is to have every student reading at grade level by the third grade.
National studies have confirmed that third grade reading proficiency is the most important indicator of school success leading to higher graduation rates.
This year, the program is focusing on supporting kindergarten and first grade students and are in desperate need for volunteers to fill these rolls.
This opportunity allows volunteers to become much-needed mentors for students and help them cultivate a lifelong love of reading.
All volunteers are provided with training, materials and support.
As per Hawai‘i Department of Education guidelines, all volunteers must be at least 18 years old, pass a background test, and provide a negative TB test.
“Our program is volunteer-run and we’re so appreciative of the tutors the that keep coming back year after year, but we are always looking for more help,” said Alex Saklar, Americorps VISTA at Holualoa Elementary. “We see the positive impacts they make in our school community and we want to provide that experience to every student.”
IGNITE is in its third year and has become a fundamental part of the school community. It has become a comprehensive literacy program that includes a tutoring program, annual community events and incentive programs to encourage reading outside of school.
The program was created after Principal Glenn Gray wrote a federal grant to bring Americorps VISTAs to the school in order to improve literacy rates in their struggling student body. Americorps VISTA is a subset of the Corporation of National and Community Service, and its goal is to end poverty in the United States.
This year’s VISTAs, Alex Saklar and Alyssa Bruns, are focusing on recruiting new volunteers and transforming IGNITE into a more expansive and sustainable program. They are hoping their new campaign to recruit volunteers will benefit the school for years to come.
To learn more about the IGNITE Literacy Program and how you can get involved with Holualoa Elementary School, visit www.igniteliteracy.com.