Delta Reads Plus

Delta Reads Plus

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Delta Reads Plus (DRP) is a collaborative AmeriCorps tutoring program that assists students in grades K‑6 in the Mississippi Delta in reaching their full academic potential. The organization and structure of DRP’s Tutor Training provides AmeriCorps members with practical skills that enable them to internalize effective behaviors in school settings. Members learn about the complex nature of literacy and math, how to engage students in lessons, how to evaluate tutorial sessions, how to foster more parental involvement, and how to create love for academics.

What is AmeriCorps?

AmeriCorps_MISSISSIPPIAmeriCorps engages more than 80,000 Americans in intensive service each year at 21,600 unique sites including nonprofits, schools, public agencies, and community and faith-based groups across the country. Since the program’s founding in 1994, more than 1 million AmeriCorps members have contributed more than 1.4 billion hours in service across America while tackling pressing problems and mobilizing more than 2.3 million volunteers for the organizations they serve.

Delta Reads Plus is proudly funded by Volunteer Mississippi in collaboration with the Corporation for National and Community Service.

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Contact Us

Bria G. Beal
Program Director
Phone: 662.846.4807

Mission and Objectives

The mission of DRP is to improve the academic engagement (attitude and behavior) of students in grades K‑6 by involving AmeriCorps members, parents, teachers, school administrators, and community volunteers in effective tutorial programs and community improvement projects in educationally and economically distressed communities in the Delta. DRP’s motto is “Providing Students and Communities with a Road Map to Success”.

During the 2017-2018 service year, DRP plans to accomplish the following:

  • Fifty (50) members will tutor 400 students in grades K‑6.
  • Three hundred and forty (340) students will complete the CNCS-supported education program as defined by participating in at least 50 tutoring sessions.
  • Three hundred and ten (310) students will demonstrate improved performance in literacy and/or math according to STAR assessment data.
  • Two hundred and ninety (290) students will demonstrate improved academic engagement (attitude).
  • Three hundred (300) students will demonstrate improved academic engagement (behavior).
  • All DRP members will receive Tutor Training.

Recent DRP accomplishments are:

  • Thirteen (13) members served in Mississippi communities.
  • DRP members tutored over 200 students.

Services

According to the College and Career-Ready Standards (CCRS) set by the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE), all Mississippi students deserve to graduate high school with knowledge and skills they need to succeed in college, careers and life. In order to assist school districts in addressing these standards, DRP focus on literacy and incorporate tutoring across the curriculum.  Students are identified for services by school administrators based on classroom performance. AmeriCorps members are divided into site‑based or community teams. In addition to tutoring students, each team is required to plan activities for the following community service events:

  • AmeriCorps Week is set aside to recognize the commitment of AmeriCorps members by highlighting the work and impact done by members in communities.  Members also use this opportunity to motivate and recruit more Americans to join or volunteer in their communities to help “Get Things Done for America”.
  • Make a Difference Day is America’s largest day of doing good by helping others. Held annually on the fourth Saturday of October, millions of Americans join together to perform extraordinary deeds. Young or old, individual or groups, can carry out a project that helps others.
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a way of transforming Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life and teachings into community service that helps solve social problems. On MLK Day, individuals of all ages and backgrounds, celebrate Dr. King’s legacy through service projects that strenghten communities, empower individuals, and bridge barriers.
  • Read Across America Day takes place each year during the birthday of Dr. Seuss.  Thousands of schools, libraries, and community centers participate by bringing together kids, teens, and books to celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday and to motivate reading through these events.
  • September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance was started by 9/11 family members and support groups. The service day is a way to honor the victims and heroes of 9/11 and to rekindle the spirt of unity and compassion that followed the attacks; and also honors veterans, military personnel, and first responders.

DRP members provide invaluable services to students in partnering school districts in the following Mississippi Delta counties:

    • Bolivar
    • Coahoma
    • Leflore
    • Sunflower
    • Washington

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Tutoring Tips

Get Acquainted With Your Students
Building a relationship is critical to the tutoring process. Children need to feel safe. The first time you meet with a child should be informal.  You should get to know the child and let the child get to know you and be comfortable with you.

Share something about yourself with the child – a favorite hobby, favorite book as a child, your family, your pets, etc. Bring something from home to talk about such as a photo, a collection, a book, or a memento. Talk about why you will be coming to the school each day to work with the child, and be clear that the goal of your time together is to learn to read better. Don’t make promises that may not be able to be kept.

Discussion Helpers
The following questions can help you get to know your students.

  • What is your full name? Can you spell it for me?
  • What is your teacher’s name?
  • How old are you?
  • How many brothers and sisters do you have?
  • Do they attend school here too?
  • Do you have a cat or dog?
  • Do you like to read or write?
  • What is your favorite book? What was the last book you read?
  • Tell me about where you live.
  • What did you have for breakfast this morning?
  • What do you like most about school?
  • What do you like to do after school?
  • Tell me about your friends.

Tips from Current DRP Tutors

  • Have fun while serving.
  • Come prepared each day.
  • Be open and receptive to change.
  • Never underestimate the learning ability of a student. No two students are alike. Adjust your tutoring style to accommodate each student.
  • Maintain a postive attitude and treat every studen special.
  • Do your best and set a good example in the school and the community.
  • Be patient.
  • Don’t overwhelm or frustrate the student.
  • Be consistent in your commitment to serve.

Application Process

  • Do you want to give back to your community?
  • Do you enjoy working with people, especially children and youth?
  • Do you need money for college or to repay a student loan?

AmeriCorps enables you to gain work experience and training while serving in the community.  In Delta Reads Plus AmeriCorps, you serve as tutor in a local school or organization, as well as helping with community service projects.

There are 5 steps to the application and member intake process.

Step 1: Learn about the program.

Step 2: Complete and submit an online AmeriCorps application.

Step 3: Attend scheduled interviews.

Step 4: Undergo and clear background checks.

Step 5: Attend member orientation.

We hope that you will join us in our mission to make a difference here in the Mississippi Delta. Apply now!

For further questions, visit 1417 College Street, Cleveland, MS.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can become a member of DRP?                                          

  • Citizens or permanent residents of the U.S.
  • At least 17 years of age (some service opportunities require you to be at least 18)
  • High school graduates or GED recipients
  • Completed at least 48 college hours or passed the ACT Work Keys Assessment
  • Persons committed to providing quality service to the community

What are the benefits of the DRP program?
Along with gaining valuable experience in your community, as a DRP member, you are a part of the national network of AmeriCorps programs. Upon successful completion of service hours, members are eligible for the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award. Most importantly, DRP members receive the satisfaction that comes from making a difference in communities and improving the lives of citizens in the Mississippi Delta.

Is DRP a big commitment?
Yes, and you should remember this if you’re considering applying. DRP members complete the required hours at their service site, submit time sheets and success stories, and attend mandatory program trainings. DRP members are always expected to be on time, engaged, and professional at their sites. Remember, DRP members represent both the university and AmeriCorps. There are no restrictions on additional employment outside of your service position as long as it doesn’t interfere with your service hours.  Our positions require members to serve consistently Monday-Friday for an agreed upon hourly commitment each day. College students with day classes are eligible if we are able to find a position that would work with your current school schedule.

Will I still get the education award if I don’t complete the hours?
No. Unless you have a personally compelling circumstance, you must serve the required hours to be eligible for the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award.

Can I pick the site where I would like to serve?
Not directly, but we try to match members with his or her preference as best we can.

What training do AmeriCorps members receive?
All AmeriCorps members receive training at the beginning of their service, as well as project-specific training during service. DRP members attend a mandatory Member Orientation in August, at least one monthly member training at the CCED, other school sponsored trainings, and at least one Mississippi Commission for Volunteer Service (MCVS) event.

How do I become a partner?
Contact the program office to obtain and submit a Host Site Application. Lower academic achieving schools and current school partners receive first priority. Host sites must pay a cash match for each Corps member placed with their organization within 30 days after invoice receipt. Host sites provide on-site supervision and support for AmeriCorps members to assist them in effectively performing as tutors.

Donate

Would you like to serve Delta Reads Plus through a contribution? Your support makes all the difference! Your gift to Delta Reads Plus will help address critical issues facing our region, such as academic achievement and instructional resources.

Donate by Mail
Mail your donation directly to Delta Reads Plus at:

Delta Reads Plus
DSU Box 3134
Cleveland, MS 38733

You will be provided with a receipt for your donation.

Please contact us with any questions.