"My last week was amazing and bittersweet! The students made me some goodbye cards and they were so sad to see me go.
The first graders were so excited to finally get their backpacks and the second graders couldn't wait to get their folders. I think they were more surprised to see how much they improved with their reading fluency!
"At Cheney, I was included in Ms. Hambey's class yearbook photo. So they made a big card and put the class photo in and the children and Ms. Hambey signed it. It was so great! They've invited me for their end-of-the-year party.
The second grade teachers at Lawton Chiles requested I visit next week. I really had a great time there with Mrs. Murphy and Mrs. Hoover.
Also, the teachers at Audubon would like me to visit next week too because we didn't have much time today. They had the Bust A Move walkathon at Audubon today so it was pretty hectic! All in all, an unforgettable experience!"
– Ameerah Ally (in photo), volunteer at Audubon Park, Cheney and Lawton Chiles Elementary
"My granddaughter and I wanted all six of the kids to love reading. It was a daunting task for the teacher to bring them up to second grade level reading and she knew it was important for these children to have one-on-one time with a volunteer. I believe they have blossomed with their self-confidence in all subjects. The teacher wants to work with us again next year. This is truly a warm, bonding experience to see a child blossom with confidence. This program is so wonderful that I even sent a letter to the President telling him about this program. I am going to continue trying to get into local clubs to speak about Read2Succeed in an effort to get more volunteers. Our success with the program means that we made a difference in a child's life and that is something that no one can take away from them or from us."
– Jeanne (Ann) Lutz, volunteer at Rock Springs Elementary
"My most positive experience is with helping a first grade student at Lakemont Elementary build his vocabulary. Today was the first day I have worked with him since before the Winter Break. We reviewed the words and definitions from the books that we have already read. We have covered 24 words. He was able to provide an accurate definition for 18 words. On his pre-test in October 2013, he could only provide an accurate definition for three of these same 24 words. On his pre-test, he could not provide any definition at all for 13 of these same words. So, I am convinced that the Read2Succeed program is really making a difference and am looking forward to volunteering again in the future."
– Catherine Edwards, volunteer at Lakemont Elementary
"The kids are so excited when I arrive for their reading time. We go through the paragraph, discuss it and their hope is that their graph goes up. When it does, of course we're happy but when it doesn't, we discuss why. They can't wait to play the games. Little do they know, they are learning while having fun. When I run into my students from last year in the halls, I get the biggest smile and hug so they must enjoy the program."
– Bobbi Starr, volunteer at Bay Meadows Elementary
"One of my children was a very eager and sweet girl. Whenever I missed a week with her (due to FCAT, for example), she would tell me how much she missed me. That really melted my heart. As we were winding down the end of the school year, I made her aware that we only had a few more weeks to spend together. She was sad and said that she will miss her 'best friend.' She made me a very touching card. At our last day with the group of four, they all gave me a group hug. I told them that I would miss them and they said they would miss me too."
– Liza Bryant, volunteer at Audubon Park Elementary
"When I met with my first grader for the first time, I explained that I would read stories to her and she would tell me when I read a word we were going to talk about. I explained that she would learn what the word meant and how to use it in a sentence. She did not look thrilled or excited. When I read the first story and came to a target word, she screamed out the word like she had just discovered something important. She highlighted the word in the book and did not miss telling me when I read another target word. We talked about what the word meant and I am sure that at the end of this school year, she will have a greatly improved vocabulary and a greater understanding of definition of words. What a fun way to learn!"
– Bernie Ouellette, volunteer at Union Park Elementary