Helping the whole child

The YREADS! program provides the resources necessary to help improve the reading levels of children in kindergarten through third grade while developing greater self-esteem and social skills. Trained volunteers provide reading instruction in groups of one or two children using the SIPPs (Systematic Instruction in Phoneme Awareness, Phonics, and Sight Words) curriculum.

Students who participate in YMCA READS! are referred by the partner schools’ principals, reading or data coaches, guidance counselors and/or students’ teachers. Each student has been identified by a professional educator as “at-risk” and in need of additional reading skill development for successful grade level promotion. Each year, program assessments show improvements. The children’s reading levels are assessed at the beginning and throughout the program using the Florida Assessment for Instruction in Reading (iReady) test.

Factors such as students’ participation in the Free or Reduced Lunch or English Language Development Programs are also considered when students are referred to YMCA READS! Each child has a School Referral Form on file indicating the reading level and reason for referral.

Each student enrolled in YMCA READS! is expected to receive a minimum of two one-hour individualized sessions per week with a mentor. Each student’s reading level is assessed to provide targeted instruction. Student progress is monitored quarterly through curriculum and school assessments, but the biggest measurement is by what their families have to say about the program.

YMCA READS! began in August 2005 when the Florida Department of Education granted $1.5 million to the Florida State Alliance of YMCAs. In a 2014 survey, 100% of parents and teachers who responded found the program beneficial in improving students’ reading.


Turie T. Small Elementary School
800 South Street
Daytona Beach, FL 32114


Giving the time to mentor a child in reading can have an enormous impact on their life. Your involvement in YMCA READS! can do more than teaching reading skills. It can boost self-esteem, imagination, increase a child’s ability to succeed in the classroom and make a big difference in their life.

No experience is necessary. Training and ongoing support will be provided for you. Student volunteers can earn community service hours while gaining experience working with children in an educational setting. Adult volunteers can gain experience to further their careers, enhance an interest or simply receive satisfaction for giving back to the community. A minimum of only one hour per week is required.

To volunteer contact  Rebecca Doty at rdoty@vfymca.org

Mission Statement: To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.

Site Design by Stark LMC. YMCA Store.