It all starts with Literacy.

TutorMate kicks off the new school year in Broward County (with a terrific video!)



JM Family Enterprises has produced this great video celebrating its participation in the TutorMate program in the Broward County Public Schools.

Employees of the auto dealership and finance company, based in Deerfield Beach, Fla., helped children at Walker Elementary School in Fort Lauderdale learn to read by spending half an hour a week with them, connected by the Internet.

Kim Bentley, the company’s vice president of corporate philanthropy — and a tutor herself — showed the video at a breakfast on Sept. 27 to kick off TutorMate’s second year in the South Florida school district. In the 2013-14 school year, JM employees worked with three first-grade classrooms at Walker Elementary.

At the breakfast, 24 Fort Lauderdale-area organizations met with the school district’s superintendent and leadership team to learn about TutorMate, Innovations for Learning’s online remote tutoring program that allows employees help children right from their workplaces.

Acting Chief Academic Officer Brian Kingsley opened the breakfast, held at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, by describing the important role that tutors can play in the lives of young Broward County students  through weekly reading practice.

Superintendent Robert Runcie called upon the audience to engage with students and shared some impressive statistics about the district, noting that Sunland Park Academy, a participating IFL school, went from a D rating to an A last year.

Attending the event were many of last year’s tutors and sponsors, including representatives from AT&T, BrightStar Credit Union, United Way of Broward and the Broward Education Foundation. Many of the  participants have already agreed to be TutorMate partners for the new school year.

The Broward Education Foundation has committed to apply for a grant from the state that will enable them to match funds from contributing partners to IFL.  These funds will be used to sponsor the program in additional first grade classrooms in the district.

It was a great show of support from the district leadership and its community for early literacy and student success.

We’re delighted to be continuing our partnership with Broward County Public Schools this year.

— Kim Whitten, Executive Director for Florida, Innovations for Learning

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