Osceola School District Superintendent Dr. Debra Pace opened Thursday’s Bookmark Buddies breakfast event sharing that 3rd graders are still in need of assistance throughout the district in the area of reading and that the Education Foundation of Osceola needs more reading mentors willing to help those students improve their reading skills before the important state testing that they must take each spring. Over the 18 years that Bookmark Buddies has been in place in Osceola County, they have seen a success rate of over 80% in satisfactorily improving the reading proficiency of students in the program.
According to the Education Foundation’s Executive Director Kerry Avery, “the Bookmark Buddy program historically has had about 500 students and mentors in the program at any given time, district-wide in all 27 schools, but today we’re relaunching in 5 schools, and in those schools alone, there are 500 students who need our help, so as you can see, the need has greatly increased with the impact of COVID-19 on learning.”
The Bookmark Buddies Mentoring Program is an exciting opportunity for caring and concerned community members to make a difference in the life of a child, with mentors meeting thirty minutes each week at one of the participating elementary schools, for one-on-one reading time with a third-grade student who is in in need of that “extra little push” to become a successful reader and lifelong learner. No prior tutoring experience is necessary, and the education foundation provides all the materials needed, making for an easy and fun weekly volunteer experience – and what that truly impacts the students.
“It’s so easy to sign up to be a mentor and you can change a child’s life. Whether the child has two parents in its life, or a single mom or dad, just knowing that someone cares about them and that comes and sees them each week and is there to help make them a better student, really makes a difference in how that child’s trajectory goes for the rest of their education.” State Representative and President of the Education Foundation in Osceola shared during the Bookmark Buddies relaunch event.
To be a part of the Bookmark Buddies program, or for more information, just go to foundationosceolas.org, go to the programs section, locate Bookmark Buddies and scan the QR code, or just call 407.870.4855 Monday thru Friday 8am – 4:30pm.