Sarasota County School District seeking volunteers for several summer programs

No formal experience necessary, district says, but background checks required

Image courtesy Sarasota County Schools

The Sarasota County School District is seeking people “interested in helping shape and promote positive social and emotional learning” and academic success for students enrolled in summer programs, the district has announced.

Anyone interested in being a volunteer may consider the following programs, a news release says:

  • Summer Learning Academies (SLA) — offered at all district Title I elementary schools. This full-day program will run for six weeks, Monday through Thursday, the release explains. During the morning sessions, the focus will be on reading and math. In the afternoons, students will participate in STEM projects, as well as in a variety of enrichment activities, including field trips to community arts partners, the release says.
  • Summer Reading Camps (SRC) — offered to third-graders who need more instruction and assistance before being promoted to fourth grade. The six-week program will run Monday through Thursday at Toledo Blade Elementary School, Gocio Elementary School and Gulf Gate Elementary School, the release adds. Tutors will work one-on-one with the same two students each week; a commitment of at least an hour a week is preferred.

Free training sessions for Summer Reading Camps volunteers will take place on Wednesday, May 15, at Toledo Blade Elementary and on Friday, May 17, at the district administrative offices, located at The Landings in Sarasota, the release says.

  • Dive Into Reading (DIR) — offered only to rising second-graders registered for Bentwood Elementary School’s SLA. Each student participating in this new, experiential enrichment program will be provided with books to add to his or her home library, the release notes. Students also will be paired with volunteer mentors to work on reading comprehension, vocabulary, and emotional and behavioral education “in relaxed settings,” the release points out. Sessions initially will be held at Gecko’s Grill & Pub on Fruitville Road. Staff hopes to expand the program to other schools and locations in the future.

No formal experience is necessary to volunteer at any of Sarasota County Schools’ summer programs, “just a love of giving back to the community and an interest in helping students achieve!” the release says.

However, before being approved as a volunteer, each applicant must go through, and pass, a mandatory screening process plus a background check, as outlined in district policy, the release emphasizes.

For more information about summer programs and training sessions, or to sign up to be a summer volunteer, a person may contact the Office of Community Involvement at 927-9000, Ext. 31500, or via email at