Each year, thousands of students in Placer County are left behind in the process of learning to read. To address this growing issue in our community, Linda LoBue, an experienced elementary school teacher and administrator, created the Sight Word Buster Volunteer Program in 2011.
The Sight Word Buster Volunteer Program is made possible by a corps of volunteers that spend, on average, one hour a week working with students in primary classrooms.
Linda explains the long-lasting effects of the program, “It’s more than a win-win: the student wins by receiving the extra tutoring, the teacher wins because students master the curriculum, and the community wins because when students are successful, they stay in school and are better prepared for jobs when they graduate.”
In 2013, a grant from the Elizabeth M. Jansen Fund at Placer Community Foundation brought the program to almost 200 students at First Street Elementary School in Lincoln. Elizabeth shared, “Supporting this program in my hometown was important to me because with a strong educational foundation, students in Lincoln will have greater confidence in their abilities and become future leaders.”
As of this writing, the Sight Word Busters program has expanded to more than 100 trained volunteers tutoring daily in 33 classrooms at seven schools in Auburn, Rocklin and Lincoln. Program sponsors who donated funds to purchase exercise books and materials for the volunteers include the Placer Community Foundation, Elizabeth M. Jansen Fund. All of the help resulted in 702 local elementary school students mastering more than 5,000 word lists, with the help of 100-plus volunteers donating 1,939 volunteer hours.