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When Amanda, Sarah’s mother, realized that Sarah was struggling with reading, she knew something needed to be done. “When I would read with her before it was very much One. Word. At. A. Time,” Amanda said. “It was very slow, it was not fluid. She would have to sound things out. And then she struggled so much with just reading the word that the comprehensive level wasn't really there.”
More than 70% of children who are behind their reading level by the end of third grade may never catch up to their peers. When educators at Estes Park Elementary noticed Sarah struggling with reading, they knew she would be a good fit for the Colorado Reading Corps program. “She was recommended by the school for the program and she flourished in it,” Amanda said. “We watched her reading skill grow, and she’s on or if not beyond grade level at this point.”
Colorado Reading Corps is a nationally replicated model that utilizes AmeriCorps Members, trained in early intervention literacy strategies, to provide one-on-one tutoring to kindergarten through third-grade students who are not reading at grade level. The program assists hundreds of local students each year, without taking them away from their other school activities. “I feel like Sarah didn't get pulled out of other areas of school just to work on reading,” Amanda said. “She still experienced school to the fullest and at the same time still got the reading help that she needed.”
Colorado Reading Corps not only assisted Sarah with her reading skills, it gave her a renewed sense of confidence. “Her confidence was boosted,” Amanda said. “I know that she wasn’t hitting those goals and over the process of the year she was.” One of the biggest takeaways for Sarah is that she is “proud of herself” Amanda said. “Sitting at home and reading with her and acknowledging how well she's doing and she's proud of herself”
Sarah has joy for reading whether it’s diving into her favorite chapter books or spending quality time reading to her younger brother. “She’ll sit down and read to her younger brother-picture book after picture book.” Amanda said. “As a busy mom of 4, to be able to ask one of the older kids to read for the younger kids is incredible.”
Colorado Reading Corps is not only helping Sarah flourish academically, the program is teaching her many lifelong skills she can use in the future. “Reading over the course of a lifetime is so important. She will be able to give to the community because of her reading level.” Amanda said. “So I am thankful that Sarah has gotten this help and it worked.” Since Sarah has participated in the Colorado Reading Corp program she has a newfound appreciation for reading “The stories are really exciting and in other books and it can be really interesting what information you can read in a book.“ Sarah said.
Sarah is just one of the youth supported by the Estes Park United campaign. Estes Park United is investing in the future of the Estes Park community by supporting the safety, wellness, learning and development of local children.
Estes Park United takes a unique approach to making an impact on youth - by joining together as local nonprofits, schools, businesses and community members, we are collectively supporting our children and families. Ultimately, we are working toward and even stronger Estes Park! Click here to donate.
What your dollars can do:
All funds raised through Estes Park United are reinvested into the Estes Park community through collaboration by the following organizations:
Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County
Colorado Reading Corps
Crossroads Ministry of Estes Park
Estes Park Learning Place
Estes Park School District R-3
Estes Valley Investment in Childhood Success
Food Bank for Larimer County
Partners Mentoring Youth
Town of Estes Park
United Way of Larimer County
Copyright 2015 United Way of Larimer County