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Volunteers Make a Difference at Presumpscot School

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Volunteers Make a Difference at Presumpscot School
Posted on 01/23/2015

Deering High School student volunteers are playing a vital role in helping Presumpscot Elementary School students improve their reading and writing skills – and the school is looking for more volunteers to help its English language learner students.

Recently, Presumpscot School redoubled its efforts to bring the community into the schools to make a difference in the lives of students. Community volunteers are an essential part of school engagement and achievement at Presumpscot.

In the fall, the school partnered with Starting Strong, Portland's campaign for grade-level reading under the umbrella of  Portland ConnectED, to expand its recruitment of volunteers. ConnectED is a community coalition convened by Mayor Brennan that strives to provide educational support for Portland students all the way to postsecondary completion.

Starting Strong Project Director Jennifer Burns of United Way of Greater Portland facilitated a new partnership with Deering High School students enrolled in a Global Issues course.

 As a course requirement, students volunteer in the area of literacy. In December, five Deering High School students – Beatriz Dubon, Dylantha Musanerwa, Emma Alcorn, Jacob Tosi, and Tabitha Williams – began supporting readers, writers and speakers in kindergarten and first grade classrooms. They received training in supporting both emergent readers and English language learners and jumped right in to help Presumpscot students.

Presumpscot also has another volunteer opportunity available. It has joined forces with Goodwill Industries of New England to bring the Multilingual Leadership Corps AmeriCorps Program to Presumpscot.

The program is designed to increase academic engagement among English language learners through school skills support, mentoring and community engagement programs. The school is looking for three Student Engagement Specialists to work 300 hours between now and August 2015.

In exchange for the work hours, AmeriCorps members will receive an $1,195 education award.

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Deering High School student volunteer Jacob Tosi helps a Presumpscot student improve her literacy skills.

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Presumpscot first grader Lula Wilson gets some literacy help from Deering
High School student volunteer Tabitha Williams.