I.H.S. student tutors needed for Readers program

Immokalee High School students have a unique opportunity to help elementary school children – while improving themselves at the same time.

The Immokalee Foundation’s Immokalee Readers program pairs IHS student tutors with children in kindergarten through second grade who need mentors to help them with their language skills.

And it’s not only the youngsters who benefit from the program: Both groups have shown improvements in reading proficiency when the program is complete.

TIF’s Immokalee Readers curriculum is led by certified teachers and aligned with Sunshine State standards – and it works.

Collier County Public Schools regularly assesses younger students’ reading comprehension, phonemic awareness, letter-sound recognition, sight words and vocabulary, and all of TIF’s Immokalee Readers elementary school students make measurable gains.

A staff of 100 high school students is trained to work with about 430 children from five elementary schools at The Immokalee Foundation’s Immokalee campus.

Friendships are forged along with the strides made in reading.

“When I started tutoring, the kids didn’t seem too interested in reading books at all,” said student tutor Julyssa Medina. “Now they look so happy to see me, and they love to read.”

TIF’s Immokalee Readers makes a difference not only in the young students’ education but also provides work experience for the high school tutors.

The student tutors, who must maintain a 2.5 GPA, receive a stipend that allows them to experience a positive work environment.

Adult volunteers can help, too, by serving as mentors to the high school student tutors, assisting in the day-to-day operation of the program, or financially supporting a student through a much needed donation of $500 per year.

The Immokalee Foundation provides a range of education programs that focus on building pathways to success through college and post-secondary preparation and support, mentoring and tutoring, opportunities for broadening experiences and life skills development leading to economic independence.

To learn more about TIF, volunteering as a tutor or for additional information, call 239-430-9122 or visit www.immokaleefoundation.org.

Young reader Selest Martinez has an interesting session with her tutor, Miranda Herrera. (Submitted photo)

Young reader Selest Martinez has an interesting session with her tutor, Miranda Herrera. (Submitted photo)

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