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BSD looking for reading tutors

Most educators will agree reading is the most important of the fundamentals learned in school.

Finding ways to help children learn this vital skill can prove to be difficult at best, but a partnership between AmeriCorps and Community Youth Services has created opportunities to help both struggling readers and people looking for work.

“We are hiring full-time tutors and volunteer coordinators to serve in Bremerton elementary schools,” Julie Wasserburger said.

Applicants must be at least 17 years old and have either a high school diploma or GED, according to Wasserburger, a media specialist at Naval Avenue Early Learning Center and a Washington Reading Corps site supervisor. A monthly stipend of $830 to $1,050 accompanies service in AmeriCorps as well as a $4,725 education award.

WRC, a statewide program started in 1998 as a partnership between the governor’s office, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Washington Service Corps-AmeriCorps program, provides elementary schools in six counties in Western Washington with members who help readers improve their reading skills.

“The WRC program brings AmeriCorps and Vista members to Naval Avenue, West Hills, Armin Jahr and View Ridge,” Wasserburger said. “These AmeriCorps members are dedicated to helping our students become fluent and lifelong readers. They work with struggling readers in grades K – 5 by providing one-on-one tutoring and small group lessons. Not only do they mentor Bremerton students, they also become involved in our community by volunteering in citywide efforts and welcoming community volunteers into our schools.”

The WRC program has two positions, the AmeriCorps STATE position and the AmeriCorps VISTA position.

STATE members provide direct service to struggling readers while VISTA members focus on building sustainable literacy programs at elementary schools.

“At Naval Avenue, we have an additional 20 community volunteers that read one on one with students and give them a caring adult to practice reading skills and share their success with,” Wasserburger said.

In BSD, Armin Jahr Elementary has openings for two STATE members; Naval Avenue Elementary has four STATE member positions available; View Ridge Elementary is looking for two STATE members; and West Hills Elementary needs three STATE members and one VISTA member.

“The AmeriCorps members are an integral part of or school,” Wasserburger said.

For more information or to volunteer, go to www.communityyouthservices.org and follow the “Programs” link to “AmeriCorps-Washington Reading Corps,” or call Allen Stanton at (888) 698-1816, ext. 161.

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