West Oaks Elementary READS! Program, Central Florida YMCA, Orlando

Gabrielle (mentor): “When I first arrived to the program, I noticed what I thought to be a big gap between where some of tthe students were and where they needed to be. However in my short time of being there and working with some of the students, I have seen them grow each session. Some grow little by little, others I have seen grow by leaps and bounds. In having the opportunity to watch the students on their learning journey I have come to appreciate the learning process all over again because I am seeing it through their eyes. I am reminded in each session that our victories, like when the kindergarteners I am working with master two new sight words, or the challenges like learning to sound out a new compound word with the first graders, learning encompasses all of those experiences. Working with my students is helping me rediscover my love for learning and my love for reading. I am excited to see them mastering the tools they need to become successful readers.”

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Candace (mentor): “Mentoring to me is being able to encourage and motivate the children in the READS Program, to love learning and reading. Since I have been working with the READS, it has inspired me, helped me to learn how to motiviate each child. I realized that once the child sees that you are here for them, they begin to trust you, they open up and want to learn. I have been working with helping them realize the importance learning has on their future. By sharing my own personal struggles with learning as a child and how I overcame them, it has helped them understand that they can do it. Mentoring to me is the ability to encourge each child.”

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