By Chamelle Gleaton
Reading Corps K-3 Team Amidon-Bowen tutor
Last school year I served as a K-3 Metro DC Reading Corps literacy tutor at Amidon-Bowen Elementary School. It was such a rewarding experience that I decided to dedicate another year to the program and will again serve as a K-3 tutor at Amidon-Bowen. I learned so much last year and feel I have even more to offer the students this year.
The job of a Reading Corps tutor is to help students gain the skills they need to read on grade level by Grade 3. This is a challenge for both the student and the tutor. For example, one of my students was unable to distinguish letter sounds in September, but with hard work and dedication, was able to read short passages fluently by June. Not all my students experienced this kind of growth and not all of them graduated from the program in June, but they all tried their best and never gave up.
This is why I decided to serve another year. I want my students to know that Reading Corps tutors are dedicated to students’ literacy needs. I look forward to continuing this journey with them. I want to see them continue to grow and excel because they mean that much to me. This program means that much to me.
Serving as an AmeriCorps member also has strengthened my professional development skills. I learned more about myself this past year than I have in the last 26 years of my life. I’ve learned how to communicate effectively, maximize networking opportunities, and most importantly be a leader. As a second-year tutor this year I will be leading a Professional Learning Group consisting of 8-10 first-year tutors, guiding them along their journeys too.
I have two dreams for Reading Corps this year. I would like to see the launch of a Reading Corps program in MD, particularly in Prince George’s County, where there is such a great need to close the literacy gap. Also, I want my students to understand that being able to read will give them the keys to explore the whole word that exists outside of the one they live in now.
Two of my favorite quotes are by Dr. Seuss and Frederick Douglas.
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.”— Dr. Seuss, “I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!”
“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.” — Frederick Douglass.