AmeriCorps, Monterey County United for Literacy (AmeriCorps) recruits, trains and places full time reading tutors in elementary schools throughout Salinas and South Monterey County. AmeriCorps reading tutors meet daily, one-on-one with kindergarten through 4th grade students to teach reading and engage in literacy building activities. 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 read to learn in fourth grade and beyond. The Corps 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, Salinas City Elementary School District and Greenfield Union School District. In one program year, 30 full time members tutor a minimum of 575 K-4 students.
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 a literacy tutor 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 75,000 members have contributed more than 62.4 million 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.