Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


Social, Behavioral & Global Studies


This paper describes the performance of Monterey County Reads (MCR) reading volunteers. In conjunction with the Panetta Institute for Public Policy and the AmeriCorps*VISTA program, the MCR program recruits, trains, and places volunteers into schools to read with children one-to-one from grades K-3. The program provides a mandatory two-hour training, which provides instruction on the basics of reading with a child and presents the expectations of the program. I developed assessment tools predicated on MCR training methods to measure the extent to which reading volunteers met MCR expectations, thereby providing an indication of the effectiveness of training. I recruited four research subjects from two categories of reading volunteers in the MCR program: Hartnell College AmeriCorps* America Reads Volunteers, and California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) Service Learning Volunteers. I observed each subject while reading with a child on four occasions over a four-month period. Additionally, I conducted interviews with four teachers who supervised the reading volunteer subjects. Results indicate that certain trends in volunteer behavior clearly exist. Specifically, increased fluency, development of comprehension, and promotion of joy are each met in varying degrees. I utilize sociological and psychological theories to explain the environments and problems surrounding the provision of reading volunteers to elementary schools. Also, literature review explores concepts related to the problem, which include: literacy instruction methods, roles of reading volunteers, and beginning literacy programs. These concepts are contrasted to the methods utilized by MCR. The limitations, contributions, potential future work, and recommendations of this research are considered.


Capstone Project (B.A.) Social and Behavioral Sciences Department