Lewis Anna Member tutoring a 1st graderSpook Hill Member working with her student AmeriCorps Member working with student


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In 1994, Congress designated MLK Day as the first and only federal holiday observed as a national day of service and charged the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) with this leading effort. Participants in the agency's AmeriCorps and Senior Corps programs are leading and joining in projects across the country.

AmeriCorps Polk Reads and Senior Corps engaged community leaders and volunteers to go into 52 Kindergarten classes during the week of January 17th -20th at the 10 schools where AmeriCorps Polk Reads serves. 995 students in these classrooms talked about what Martin Luther King Jr. believed in - that all people should be treated equally and kind to one another. "Dr. King's life is a shinning example that one person can make a difference and change the course of history". said Wendy Spencer, CEO of CNCS. Community leaders read the book Martin Luther King Jr. Day by Margaret McNamara to each class followed by AmeriCorps members leading the students in an activity where they were able to color a cut out of a person and members heled them write their dream on the back. Americorps Polk Reads and Senior Corps engaged 20 volunteers who served 33 hours assisting with this project.

Thank you to support from::
George W. Jenkins Fund within the GiveWell Community Foundation
GiveWell Community Foundation
State Farm
and proceeds from the PEF's Stepping Out for Eduation event. Thank you to: Maxcy Foundation, Morgan Stanley Heritage Group, Badcock, BB&T, Tracy Mouncey and Associates, MIDFLORIDA Credit Union, Southern Homes, Tampa Electric, Tampa Electric Company, Mosaic, Polk State College, Jarrett-Gordon Ford. CenState Contractors, and Citizen’s Bank and Trust.

student showing us her dream during MLK project AmeriCorps members heling students during MLK project AmeriCorps Members with students during MLK project

MLK project book being read to students AmeriCorps Member reading to students Students MLK project


AmeriCorps Polk Reads appreciates each of the schools for their willingness and cooperation in planning this fun activity with the students.

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AmeriCorps Members going through a Conscious Discipline training, presented by Lori Allen, Senior Coordinator of Professional Development with PCSB.

AmeriCorps members in Conscious Discipline class AmeriCorps Members in Conscious Discipline class

AmeriCorps Conscious Discipline training

9/11 Project

AmeriCorps Polk Reads, Senior Corps along and the Polk County School Board Teaching and Learning Services joined together in partnership to host an activity for all Polk County students K-12 in honor of the 9-11 National Day of Service and Remembrance. Students were given the opportunity to write thank you letters to Polk County First Responders for their dedicated and sacrificial service to the citizens of Polk County. This activity allowed students an opportunity to reflect on the importance of this day and engaged them in a letter writing service project. On September 29th, 2016 over 3500 letters that had all been read by AmeriCorps Polk Reads members to make sure they were appropirate were presented to Polk County's finest First Responders at a ceremony held at a local Sheriff's facility.

Click link to see video from 9/11 ceremony: https://youtu.be/hJpH3phxN8k

First Responders getting their letters

First Responders about to receive letters from Polk County Students

Letters to First RespondersLetters to First Responders

What's this program all about?

AmeriCorps Polk Reads is a grant-funded reading tutoring program in Polk County, Florida. Members (Tutors) provide one-on-one reading tutoring to Kindergarten – 3rd grade public school students at selected school sites. Our sites this year are Sikes Elementary, Socrum Elementary, Kathleen Elementary, Combee Elementary, Garner Elementary, Loughman Oaks Elementary, Snively Elementary, Spook Hill Elementary, Gibbons Street Elementary and Lewis Anna Woodbury Elementary. Our members are providing three, thirty minute, one-on-one tutoring sessions per week to over 400 students who are behind in reading.. These sessions target the five components of effective reading instruction (phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary development, reading fluency and reading comprehension strategies) and work to move students up in their reading levels.

AmeriCorps Polk Reads is made possible through a partnership between the Polk Education Foundation, Polk County Schools, and Volunteer Florida, Inc.

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AmeriCorps Tutor working with student AmeriCorps Tutor working with a student AmeriCorps Members

Interested in serving your community by being apart of our program?

  • Experience the tremendous reward that comes from helping others
  • Gain leadership, problem-solving, communication and other career skills
  • Receive a modest living allowance
  • Earn a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award to help pay for college, graduate school, or to pay back qualified student loans (You can also gift this award to a child or grandchild).

Consider serving with AmeriCorps Polk Reads.  Our members (tutors) go through training in August and are then placed in elementary schools where they provide one-on-one reading tutoring throughout the school day.  If selected, you will serve with other members at your assigned site, and have the option of serving full-time or half-time. 

Interested in becoming a part of our team for the 2017-2018 school year, please contact Steve Chapman at steve.chapman@polk-fl.net or 863-519-8638. The process for selecting next years Corps will start in June.

For more information about National Service and AmeriCorps you can visit www.americorps.gov


Contact Information
Steve Chapman AmeriCorps Polk Reads,
Program Director

Office fax nubmer 863-519-8757


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