AmeriCorps is a voluntary program that is supported by the U.S. federal government, corporations, and foundations. Among the many responsibilities of an AmeriCorps member is being a reading tutor to students in elementary and secondary schools.
“I really enjoy getting to know each student and working with them on something that I feel is super important – reading,” said Carol Cannon, an Americorps member at Moss Elementary. “It has been interesting to see how each student learns and the struggles each student has. I also get to read lots of books which is great.”
The overarching goal of AmeriCorps is to help others by meeting critical needs in the community. AmeriCorps began in 1994 and has continued to grow overtime, now reaching over 80,000 members.
Being an Americorps member provides insight into communities that want to create an exciting learning environment for their students.
“Being a positive influence on these students is exactly what they need. It is important to make them feel accomplished, smart, and simply just awesome in every way.”
Every member is trained to deliver the best quality of tutoring for each specific grade. These tutoring sessions consist of reading books with the student, working on sight words, WCPM (Word Count Per Minute) passages, and fun learning games to keep the brain engaged. Members are given the flexibility to implement the program the way they would like at their school. Carol works with the teachers and the principal to cater the program to work in her school with the students.
“As COVID-19 takes a toll on the ways of learning around the world, it’s important for these students to know that they have an advocate for them on a daily basis,” Carol said. “We are here to make them feel confident and successful regardless of the circumstances that have recently occurred.”
For Carol, witnessing the progress that the students make each week is truly what makes working in education worth it.
“It’s fun to see them experience success and feel good about what they have done. This job not only pushes you to get out in the community and work on new skills that will help in your program but also in your future. It’s a chance to make not only the students feel empowered, but the members of AmeriCorps and the community as well.”