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February 26, 2015
One of the reasons that I decided to join AmeriCorps is because I am always looking for ways that I can help people. I especially enjoy helping children and I have taught special education on and off for the past 12 years. For quite a while, I have wanted to switch to a job in academic interventions which is a very similar job, but slightly less paperwork. I've been applying for this type of position for several years now, but may not have had the experience most people were looking for.
I saw the ad forColorado Reading Corps early in the summer however, I did not respond to it, thinking it was primarily for college students. By late summer, I still didn't have a job lined up so I read the job description more closely and realized I would be providing reading interventions to elementary students full time while also volunteering and helping the community. It was exactly the type of job I wanted to do.
After only five months, I found that being a part of AmeriCorps was even better than I had expected. I have built rapport with each of my students and I am able to talk with them about their reading skills. So far, five students have graduated from the program. One of the third graders I have worked with went from reading 70 words correct per minute in the fall, to 133 in December. The pride I feel for these kids is indescribable.
The staff at Carrie Martin Elementary School has been extremely welcoming and continue to make me feel like I am part of the team. The relationship I have with my internal and master coaches has also allowed me to continue learning and developing my skills.
As for being an AmeriCorps member, I must admit, at first I felt very old and out of place among these wonderful young members who are recently out of college. Then my program director, Melinda, led a meeting in which we had many opportunities to do self-searching activities and share ourselves with each other. I was surprised to find that my “teammates” were very sensitive and non-judgmental toward me, as I was toward them.
We are halfway through the year and are now beginning another semester of helping kids become better and more confident readers, as well as furthering opportunities to assist kids through a supplemental host site. There is sure to be a number of meetings with both the AmeriCorps and people from Carrie Martin. There is so much to look forward to and I now have a sense of confidence that I have not had before.
Colorado Readings Corps Members commit to one year of service at one of theThomspon School District elementary schools to provide learning interventions. We are now accepting applications for the 2015-2016 school year. Click here to apply.
If you have questions about becoming a Colorado Reading Corps Member, contact Melinda at 970-407-7052 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This material is based upon work supported by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) under AmeriCorps Grant No. 12AFHCO0010013. Opinions or points of view expressed in this document are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official position of, or a position that is endorsed by, CNCS or the AmeriCorps program.
Copyright 2015 United Way of Larimer County