United Way Suncoast Reading All-Stars
Reading All-Stars is a program where United Way Suncoast trained Education staff and/or Volunteer Reading Coaches help children improve their reading skills. Weekly reading sessions are held to support a child’s literacy development. This program is open to any child in Pre-K through elementary school in Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties. Priority will be given to new readers and those struggling to read.
In the sessions, United Way Suncoast team members and volunteers will read to your child, listen to your child read, or do educational activities with them. These are all carefully designed to improve your child’s reading skills in an enjoyable way.
Your child’s safety is our top priority. All team members and volunteers, whether interacting virtually or in-person, are cleared through an appropriate background screening process.
Virtual Sessions at Home
If your child will be joining sessions from home, United Way Suncoast team members and/or volunteers will only contact you, the parent (not your child), for the sessions. We will use the video chat software Zoom, digital book libraries, and educational sites to communicate and share books and learning materials.
Parents/guardians will need to:
- Have a digital device with a camera access to the Internet. Please contact us if you need help with this.
- Provide a quiet space at home with adult supervision by sight or sound during the virtual session.
- Sign up for a convenient time for your child’s Reading All-Stars virtual session.
- Assist your child with signing on to the online meeting for the virtual session on-time. Session times need to start and end on time because sessions are scheduled one right after another.
- Be available to help your child if technical challenges arise.
Virtual or In-Person Sessions at an After-School or Summer Program
If your child will be joining sessions from an After-School or Summer Program, students will be supervised on-site as usual during their after-school or summer program. United Way staff or volunteers will follow guidelines of the hosting program regarding their interactions with your child. Your child may interact virtually with a United Way staff or volunteer on a computer for a virtual session. Your child may interact in-person with a United Way Suncoast team member or volunteer who is also on-site. During the pandemic, many after-school programs are limiting the number of staff or volunteers they allow on-site.
- The virtual sessions may be recorded and more than one staff person or volunteer will be on the session for quality assurance and increased safety.
- Parent/guardian/student will not contact participating volunteers outside of the Reading All-Stars program time.
- Parent/guardian will report any inappropriate behavior enacted by the Reading All-Stars volunteer to the program coordinator.
- Parent/guardian/student will not take pictures, screenshots or video recordings of the Reading All-Stars volunteer during their session without the volunteer’s permission.
- Please take special note that these virtual sessions are seen live by United Way Suncoast team members and volunteers, and they may be recorded as stated above. Even virtually, the safety of our participants is of utmost importance and concern. If any illegal, potentially illegal or concerning behavior or actions are seen by United Way Suncoast team members or volunteers, we may be obligated to report that behavior to ensure the continued safety of our participants.
United Way Suncoast conducts an internal evaluation of our reading programs so that we can continually improve them to help other children in the future. (Ex. before entering the program, the student recognized ten alphabet letters; by the end of the program, the student recognized all twenty-six.) Participation in this evaluation is voluntary. Your decision of whether to allow your child to be included in the evaluation will not affect the reading support your child receives.
If you choose to have your child participate in the evaluation, your child’s participation is confidential. His/her name and any scores relating to reading performance will never be disclosed. In the event of a publication or presentation resulting from the evaluation, no personally identifiable information will be shared about your child. All reports will be about the program, not the individual children.