The Polk Reads program placed tutors at low-performing elementary schools in Polk County (schools with grade of C, D or F) to provide one-on-one tutoring to K-3 students the school identifies as struggling readers. The tutors, in collaboration with the teachers, provide one-on-one tutoring to students for 30 minutes, three times a week. . The goal is to increase student literacy skills and establish a more successful path for them to succeed and less of a chance for them to stay behind their peers and drop out of school.
This program is free to schools and selected students and their families. Being at the schools during the school day also eliminates the transportation barrier that some families may have. Polk County is geographically very large and many students rely on bus transportation and would not be able to attend before or after school for similar services.
This year the tutors worked with 468 students and helped 325 (69%) reach program goals. The biggest gains this year was with second grade students (81%) and third grade students (93%) meeting program goals.