200 volunteers sought to work with students this summer - May 11, 2009

Record Number: 5078
Displayed from: May 11, 2009 , until: Jun 16, 2009

United Way of Allen County is looking for 200 volunteers to work with struggling readers this summer. The volunteer recruitment is part of Learn United, a ten-year effort to ensure all students read at grade level by the end of third grade. Volunteers are asked to commit at least one hour per week for one month, June 17-July 17, to work with second- and third-graders who are up to two years behind in reading. In Allen County, 40 percent of low-income third-graders are not passing the reading portion of ISTEP, and experts estimate that 74 percent will never catch up if they miss this important milestone. Learn United aims to connect community volunteers with struggling readers through a variety of programs designed to improve their literacy skills. Volunteer opportunities are offered by several agencies. Learn United volunteers go through a background check using a system that reviews more than 30 million criminal records nationwide and all 50 state's sex offender registries. All Learn United volunteers are provided training in the foundations of literacy and gain simple skills to help children learn to read. Volunteers can help at one of four summer sites: Fairfield, Forest Park, Harrison Hill and Northcrest elementary schools. Volunteer times are 8:30 9:30 a.m., 9:30 10:30 a.m. or 10:30 11:30 a.m. Fort Wayne Community Schools expects to have more than 1,100 students enrolled in summer school this year. Teachers recommend students for additional learning opportunities during the summer. Volunteers can sign up at www.LearnUnited.org and select the Summer Reading Buddy opportunity. Target Stores have already committed to helping recruit volunteers for summer school. Target employees will be encouraged to take a one-hour, once-a-week slot to help children. Learn United is a collaborative partnership between United Way of Allen County, Fort Wayne Community Schools, East Allen County Schools, The Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce, Allen County Education Partnership and the Fort Wayne Urban League. For more info visit, www.LearnUnited.org.

With nearly 30,000 students, Fort Wayne Community Schools is one of the largest school districts in Indiana. FWCS proudly allows families to choose any of its 50 schools through its successful school-choice program creating diversity in each school, including some with more than 75 languages spoken. FWCS offers seven magnet schools focusing on areas such as science and math, communication, fine arts or Montessori at the elementary and middle school level. In high school, students can choose from the prestigious International Baccalaureate program, Project Lead the Way or New Tech Academy as well as other rigorous academic and specialty training programs.