A student who's loved, is a student who learns.


AFCAAM Founding SistersFounded by Dominican Sisters Marie McBride and Elaine Robbins, AFCAAM recruits K-5 students from the Dunbar and Harlem Heights communities who would benefit from additional reading and mentoring services. AFCAAM students come from all ethnic, cultural and family backgrounds. K-5 students are placed in small classrooms (normally 10 students or less) where they receive 300 hours of group and 1-on-1 reading tutelage per year. The only requirement for enrollment are students who are eager to improve their reading and parents who remain committed to their child’s love of reading.

Students in Kindergarten, Grade 1, Grade 2, and Grade 3 are pre and post tested utilizing the Basic Early Assessment of Learning (BEAR) and students in Grades 4 and 5 are pre and post tested using the Gates MacGinitie Reading Test. Students are tested twice a year with the pre-test in October and the post-test in May. Middle & High School students are enrolled in the All-Star Mentoring program, which also has an assessment tool built in. Positive changes in attitude & decision making are tracked as students are mentored by AFCAAM certified mentors.

Close to 90 students are enrolled in the After School Reading & Mentoring programs. A review of all data indicates that 91% of the students completing the program at Dunbar showed improvement, and 86% of students at Harlem Heights showed improvement.

This marks the second consecutive year that over 90% of our total student population showed an improvement. This is due to several factors including staff leadership, curriculum development through Florida Gulf Coast University, volunteer and peer mentoring, integration of Arts and Music education and the addition of mid-term progress and assessment reports.

This year, a partnership between AFCAAM and Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) formed to provide an intensive Summer Reading Program and a series of training workshops for the AFCAAM teachers and volunteers. Over 30 master and doctorate level teachers participated in this intensive reading program, heightening our awareness in the community and emphasizing the positive role AFCAAM plays in Lee County as a premier reading program.

AFCAAM goes beyond quantitative “test-scores” to measure our effectiveness with students. We poll parents and Lee County school teachers to track behavior improvements, self-esteem and our students “love of learning.” We integrate immersive learning approaches with the Book Mobile, field trips, music and drama productions and “snack time” where we vocally celebrate our students’ “victories” within their classrooms. We live by our mantra:

“A student who’s loved is a student who learns…”