In celebration of National Mentor Month, the Math & Reading Buddy programs, initiatives led by the Council of Churches of the Ozarks, are proud to highlight their commitment to nurturing the social, emotional, and literacy skills essential for elementary student success. With an enrollment of 288 students, the program has established a robust presence in 31 Reading Buddy schools across Springfield, Willard, Republic, Nixa, and Fordland. Demonstrating a dedication to growth and community impact, the program is poised to expand to Highlandville and Marshfield this spring, furthering its positive influence.
The Math Buddy program, implemented in three Springfield schools, showcases its versatility in fostering academic excellence. A recent assessment conducted in the fall of 2023 revealed outstanding results, with Math Buddy students surpassing anticipated growth by an impressive 27%. This exceptional progress underscores the program’s effectiveness in enhancing students’ mathematical proficiency and bolstering their confidence.
The Reading Buddy program has equally commendable results, with 83% of students showcasing improved reading levels during the 2022-23 school year. Notably, 11 students moved from reading below grade level to exceeding grade level proficiency in just one year, a testament to the program’s ability to catalyze transformative change.
Student testimonials emphasize the positive influence of the Math & Reading Buddy program, with one Math Buddy student sharing, “Math is fun when you know how to do it!” This sentiment echoes the program’s commitment to making learning enjoyable and accessible. Another student expressed that meeting with her Math Buddy was her favorite thing at school, highlighting the program’s impact beyond academics.
Teacher endorsements further illustrate the program’s success, with one teacher noting, “All of my students look forward to seeing them each week, not just the two they work with. They are the most dependable, caring, and dedicated volunteers.”
As the Math & Reading Buddy Programs celebrated National Mentor Month, they reaffirmed their commitment to nurturing the potential of every student they serve. Through the collaborative efforts of the Council of Churches of the Ozarks and dedicated volunteers, the program continues to impact elementary students’ lives, creating a brighter future for all. For more information or to get involved, visit www.CCOzarks.org.