M4RA Success Stories and Quotes

“It’s a win-win…the workshop provides the “know how” for parents; and parents leave with the knowledge to use the Reading A-Z Tutor/Mentor Packs.” -St. Mary Title I Teacher

“We have been using AARM for 3 summers It has helped my daughter avoid the summer regression, but make progress. Reading is enjoyable for my daughter now- and thanks to AARM, it also is one of her greatest academic strengths.” – Parent

“When Mrs. Freeman said – this training will help you be confident and competent, I could literally see parents feel empowered.” – Literacy Coach

Autumn Stories to Warm Your Heart!

“When Jim first asked to mentor, I wasn’t sure it would work because he reads at a low level. He’s a sophomore in the special education classroom. He would be in the Mentoring Room with 3rd graders.  Then we added four 2nd grade special education students.  Jim asked to mentor once a week. So I paired him with Randy, and I could tell that Jim loved working with him.   Jim asked if he could mentor more than once a week, and I said yes. Recently he asked if he could take it as a class for high school credit.

Jim told me that he had been mentored in reading, and wanted to help someone like they had helped him. This touched my heart! This is what it’s all about! God is good all the time!

“Football players aren’t the only ones looked up to on Friday nights on that field.”

 This is another sweet thing I witnessed at the beginning of the third quarter, after the band’s halftime show tonight. Jim and I were talking when one of the second graders he mentors walked up to him. Jim has been very excited about helping our students improve their reading skills.  We paired Jim up with one little boy who has no male role models, and has other challenges to overcome in school.

So Jim’s second grader walked up to him (Jim was still in full band uniform) and looked up with admiring eyes and told Jim that he played “good.” Then the 2nd grader offered Jim a candy from the bag he was carrying. Jim took one, thanking him. The little boy said, “Would you like to walk around with me, buddy?”  Jim, with a huge smile, said he had to stay with the band as they were about to begin playing again. This 2nd grader smiled really big, looking at Jim as if he was a rock star.

My heart melted. There is much more than reading intervention that goes on in our room. These two are forming a bond that will positively affect them for quite a while.” – Reading Mentoring Coordinator


“Bethany was walking second graders back to class. She saw a little guy who had been mentored in first grade, stopped, and asked his teacher how he was doing. The teacher said he was doing very well. Excellent grades and a great student. He is now in third grade and he continues to excel. His mentoring in first grade was the boost he needed to read better and gain self-confidence. An Intervention Specialist told Bethany that she had 3 SLD students that needed more time in reading, while she worked with fifth graders. Could they be mentored those 30 minutes? In the spring, all 3 of those students passed the OAA. Bethany has a lot of support from the third grade teachers and the Intervention Specialist.”- Reading Mentoring Coordinator


“Jackson is now a 6th grade student in the self-contained special education classroom at the middle school. When Jackson started in our 1 to 1 mentoring program 2 years ago, his first cold read was a 9. Now Jackson is reading 75-80 words on cold and hot reads. Jackson struggled this year with his first mentor. They were not a great fit; but now he has been working with a high school student, and he does a fantastic job. He looks forward to reading mentoring every single day.”- Reading Mentoring Coordinator


“Our Art Teacher, Jessica, at the elementary, mentors a student this year who was struggling with confidence. At first the student read so softly that Jessica could barely hear her. Through many mentoring sessions and with lots of encouragement, this student has become a much better reader. She now reads with confidence, using expression and proper pauses. Jessica kept encouraging her, telling her what a beautiful reader she has become. She told her she should read to her class, and that they would surely enjoy it.

At the end of one day, our Librarian came into the Art classroom and told Jessica that her student needed her. Jessica had just sent her art students back to their classroom. She hurriedly walked to the library wondering what was wrong. Was the student upset? Was she not feeling well? She walked into the library, and her Wildcat Reader student told her that she was going to read aloud to her class, and she wanted Jessica to be there. The student did a beautiful job!

Jessica was so proud of her, and is so humbled and honored to be her mentor. We have wonderful mentors here at our elementary that make such a difference in the lives of so many children.”- Reading Mentoring Coordinator


Recruiting Mentors:

 I spoke at each Open House for the elementary school this year and set up a display table in the hallway. I talked with prospective mentors and passed out information regarding our program.”

“I presented our program at two of Shawnee State University’s education classes.  Students were able to ask questions and receive information about mentoring.”

“I presented our program at the local senior citizen meeting in August.  I had a display table and passed out information about mentoring.  Two of the ladies in attendance are my mentors.  I asked them to share what they enjoy about mentoring the children.  Those stories were priceless.”

“I walked in the “Walk to End Alzheimer’s” with two of my mentors.  We really enjoyed the time together and were able to talk with several people regarding our mentoring work.”


“At our middle school, we use a program called Reading Warriors.  Our high-achieving 8th grade students are paired with 6th and 7th grade students that struggle in reading.  The pairs meet 4 days a week for 20 min sessions.  The mentors work with their mentees until he/she (mentee) has mastered the short book and can answer questions about the book.”- Middle School Mentoring Coordinator


“At our Academy,–we’ve been using older kids as mentors for years and we love it!  Here’s our latest success:

This year, ALL of our 5th graders are mentoring ALL of our 1st graders in our Rocket Buddies program.  Look at our historical data on reading fluency (AIMSweb) for 1st graders on the winter benchmark:

January 2013  27% scored at or above benchmark; 39% scored in the lowest at-risk category

January 2014 18% scored at or above benchmark; 46% scored in the lowest at-risk category

January 2016 60% scored at or above benchmark; 7% scored in the lowest at-risk category

That’s because of Rocket Buddies!!!!”- Title I Teacher


“I have had 5th and 6th grade students as well as high school students be my mentors for my program at our elementary. It is always so heartwarming when I get the opportunity to see 5th and 6th grade students as well as high school students mentor young readers. I have had the privilege of witnessing these readers see their mentors in the hallway or at sporting events, and it is such a delight to see how their faces light up because their MENTORS have made a difference in their lives. I am always reminded of this quote,

“When You Mentor, Two Lives are Changed” – Intervention Specialist

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