On Wednesday, May 27, 2015, kindergarten and first grade students at Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) Endeavour Primary Learning Center had the chance to meet their online reading mentors in person for the first time. For the past year, firefighters from Lauderhill’s Fire Station #57 have been reading online with students through the District’s partnership with Innovations for Learning (IFL), provider of the TutorMate program. The web-based program provides a platform for community volunteers and corporate executives to serve as online reading tutors for 30 minutes a week.
Lieutenant Jason Clarke spearheaded the recruitment and coordination of the willing firefighters at the station. “The students have exceptionally surpassed the initial reading skills set forth by their teachers and the tutors continue to see mass progress,” said Clarke.
Endeavour Primary Learning Center Principal Denise Lawrence helped recruit volunteers for her school by presenting TutorMate to the Lauderhill City Commission. With the support of Lauderhill Vice Mayor Hayward J. Benson, Jr., Lawrence urged the Lauderhill Fire Department staff to look into the possibilities of becoming remote online tutors for a class of first grade students at Endeavour Primary Learning Center.
Fire Chief Marc Celetti said the Fire Department is excited to partner with the school and the program. “Just like in many homes, the dinner table is where most, if not all of the days ups and downs are talked about,” he said. “The fire station is no different, and the discussions these days are about the new found success of their students’ reading advancements at the Endeavour Primary Learning Center.”
Vice Mayor Benson commended the Lauderhill Fire Department for its commitment to Endeavour Primary Learning Center students. “The life changing experience of learning to read through the TutorMate program has been not only remarkable, but highly successful,” he said. “We, in this city, are grateful.”
A total of seven BCPS elementary schools are currently participating in the IFL TutorMate program. Community organizations that have volunteers serving as online tutors include the State Attorney’s Office, Northern Trust Bank, Advanced Roofing, Broward College, AT&T, Lockheed Martin, JP Morgan Chase and JM Family Enterprises.
Community organizations interested in volunteering for the TutorMate program may contact Kim Whitten, executive director Florida, Innovations for Learning, at firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOUT BROWARD COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) is the sixth largest public school system in the United States and the second largest in the state of Florida. BCPS is Florida’s first fully accredited school system since 1962. BCPS has over 260,000 students and approximately 175,000 adult students in 238 schools, centers and technical colleges, and 99 charter schools. BCPS serves a diverse student population. Students are from 204 different countries and speak 135 different languages. For more information about BCPS, visit browardschools.com, follow us on Twitter @Browardschools, like us on Facebook at facebook.com/browardschools, and download the free BCPS mobile app.