A student that AmeriCorps member, Adam Zahren, who serves at Fullerton School of Academics, worked with was repeating the third grade due to failing the reading guarantee the prior year. During the class reading time, she would cringe when it was her turn to read out loud and refuse to participate. One day when they were working together in the City Year room, Mr. Adam and his student began going through a box of donated books from the Cleveland Book Bank. Mr. Adam came across one of his favorite childhood books, Put Me in the Zoo by Robert Lopshire. When his student heard about how much he enjoyed reading it when he was young and when she saw the fun pictures, she decided she wanted to read it too!
They worked together to read the book and he gave her the book to take home so she could continue to practice, build her confidence and fluency on her own. Mr. Adam could not believe it, when just one week later, during the class reading time, she surprised him by raising her hand to read her new favorite book aloud to the whole class. He proudly stood next to her showing the class the pictures as she read it aloud with confidence and proficiency. She continues to read the book regularly and when asked, she estimated that she's read it more than ten times. City Year and Mr. Adam are proud to watch her grow in her abilities and gain more confidence in herself every day. And Mr. Adam continues to keep encouraging her to read and passing her new books for her to explore. She can't get enough!