I-BEAM MENTORING PROGRAM
I-Beam is a mentoring program aimed at building the literacy, self-esteem and social skills of Mount Pleasant’s at-riskchildren. Within our prosperous community, there lies a hidden population of families who are struggling financially. Approximately 150 of third grade children are already performing below grade level on standardized reading tests.
The failure to read as early as third grade is a reliable predictor of a future life in poverty with all the inherent risks of living outside the mainstream economy, including teen-age pregnancy, unemployment, incarceration and substance abuse. I-Beams long-term goal is to break the cycle of generational poverty by insuring that all Mount Pleasant children succeed in learning how to read.
Educators tell us that “in second grade children learn to read, and in third grade, they are expected to read to learn.” Therefore, we will focus our efforts on second grade students who are already falling behind, and support them in acquiring the literacy skills they will need throughout their academic career.
Our goal is to insure that every child in our community learns to read at or above grade level, because we believe that educational achievement is critical to breaking the cycle of generational poverty.
Our goal is to insure that every child in our community learns to read at or above grade level, because we believe that educational achievement is critical to breaking the cycle of generational poverty. This initiative is a collaboration with East Cooper Community Outreach (ECCO) and the Jennie Moore Elementary School, and with Mount Pleasant Presbyterian Church. With success and over time, we hope to expand the I-Beam partnership to involve other faith-based and civic organizations and extend the program to all seven elementary schools in Mount Pleasant.
I-Beam Starts Construction....
I-Beam volunteers started mentoring second grade students from Jenny Moore Elementary in January 2011. The mentor program with the Mount Pleasant elementary school committed to having 50+ volunteers spend one hour per week with a second grader. Each volunteer visits with a second grade child reading and sharing stories over lunch once a week. The program runs through the end of the 2011 school year.
With the help of Jennie Moore educators we will track the success of mentor efforts. Hopefully, we will be encouraged to roll the program forward and recruit a new pool of mentors to adopt incoming second graders in the fall of 2011.
Why the name “I-Beam”?
I-Beam’ has several levels of meaning. Foremost – in construction, the I-beam is a source of strength that carries significant weight and prevents buckling. It is positioned at critical points and is often a key ‘connector’ between other foundations. Secondly – the name focuses on the ‘I’ which represents the CHILD who will always be at the center of what we do. And lastly – the beam is the beacon of light that shines through our mentors.
How to get Involved....
Everyone is welcome to become a volunteer or mentor. There is no age, gender or educational requirement. We are looking for people who can be consistent in their commitment and offer one hour per week spending time with a child. You should enjoy reading to and with kids and also enjoy socializing with them.
All volunteers are required to participate in a short training session and successfully pass a background check before being place with a child.
to for further information about how to get involved.