"Reading furnishes the mind only with the materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours." - John Locke, English philosopher
Providing one-on-one tutoring to struggling readers in Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade in Hillsborough County Public Schools is the goal of Hillsborough Reads. Currently, the program provides direct tutor support to students in 14 of Hillsborough County's Title I schools -- schools with at least 56% of students qualifying for free or reduced-cost lunch. Having a target impact on literacy for these young students will increase their chances for a successful academic career.
In 2009-2010, AmeriCorps tutors and many school and/or Community volunteers provided students with 33,361 hours of one-on-one tutoring. Fifty-two percent of participating students were significantly below reading level at the start of the program. After tutoring sessions, 81% of students raised their reading grade by 2 or more diagnostic reading levels. Participating teachers unanimously agreed or strongly agreed that, as a result of being tutored, participating students have shown both a more positive attitude towards reading and improved reading skills and strategies.
The need for program assistance is great as our community continues to grow. With your help, the program could be expanded to a few new schools each year to reach more students.