Monterey County United for Literacy, AmeriCorps program (AmeriCorps) partners with school districts in Monterey County to provide full time reading tutors to elementary schools. The AmeriCorps National Service members serve as literacy tutors supporting struggling readers in Kindergarten through 4th grade by providing one-on-one reading tutoring daily for 30 minutes. The Monterey County United for Literacy program is hosted by Monterey County Office of Education and is also overseen by CaliforniaVolunteers, and sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service.
The program's mission is to enable K-4 students to read well and independently by the end of third grade so that they can successfully read to learn in fourth grade and beyond. The AmeriCorps National Service Members strive to increase reading fluency and comprehension and raise students' overall reading skills to meet grade level requirements.
AmeriCorps members are placed at elementary schools in Alisal Union School District, Chualar Union School District, Greenfield Union School District, King City Union School District and Soledad Unified School District. In one program year, 30 full time members tutor a minimum of 800 K-4 students struggling to read at grade level.
The Monterey County United for Literacy, AmeriCorps program recruits, selects, trains and places 30 literacy tutors each year in partnering elementary schools. The members serve full time at their respective school sites. and become part of the school's educational team. Each AmeriCorps National Service member provides 1700 hours of service to their school over 11 months. Starting at 8:00am, the literacy tutors support multiple classroom teachers throughout the day by teaching reading and engaging in literacy building activities in a one-on-one setting for students facing difficulties in reading. Members continue tutoring into the afterschool programming hours, where they tutor students in reading in a small group setting until 5:00pm. The AmeriCorps program provides on-going training and support to the literacy tutors throughout their service year in partnership with the school to ensure the effectiveness of the support provided and the increased knowledge, skills and professional development of each AmeriCorps member.
Currently, more than two-thirds of all Monterey County K-4 students read below grade level and over half of parents are non-readers. The direct, ongoing tutoring services provided by AmeriCorps work to effectively address this critical need.
Students receive a minimum of three tutoring sessions per week and up to 30 hours of one-to-one support. Tutoring sessions are scheduled in half hour increments during school hours. AmeriCorps tutors utilize an assortment of books, resources, materials and educational games to enhance their lessons. In addition to focusing on student achievement, the program strives to improve students' attitude toward reading and to develop a habit of independent reading for enjoyment.
AmeriCorps members also engage volunteers and establish links with local businesses to support family literacy and strengthen the community. The program builds commitment to community by planning and implementing family literacy events at local schools and by participating in a variety of community service projects throughout the year.
All members receive initial and ongoing training to inform their service as literacy tutors. Training topics include: concepts of print, phonics and phonemic awareness, basic effective instruction, tutoring English learners, community awareness, asset development, disaster preparedness and response, disability inclusion and CPR/First Aid certification.
Individuals interested in applying for a position as an AmeriCorps member must:
In 1993, President Bill Clinton signed the National and Community Service Trust Act, which established the Corporation for National and Community Service and brought the full range of domestic community service programs, including AmeriCorps, under the umbrella of one central organization. On July 3, 2003, President Bush signed the Strengthen AmeriCorps Program Act, which nearly doubled the number of AmeriCorps members. Over 1 million members have contributed more than 1.4 billion hours in service to meet our nation's most critical needs.
Before beginning their service with AmeriCorps, members commit to uphold the AmeriCorps Pledge:
I will get things done for America - to make our people safer, smarter and healthier.
I will bring Americans together to strengthen our communities.
Faced with apathy, I will take action.
Faced with conflict, I will seek common ground.
Faced with adversity, I will persevere.
I will carry this commitment with me this year and beyond.
I am an AmeriCorps member and I will get things done.
“Administered by CaliforniaVolunteers and sponsored by the
Corporation for National and Community Service”