HOSTS Program is a Success

Nearly 50 Brandon elementary students spend thirty minutes a day, Monday through Friday with a mentor. The mentor helps to improve their reading and comprehension skills.

Peggy Bowser, the HOSTS director, said, "These students that come to HOSTS are those that are somewhat below grade level, some are barely below grade level and we work with them to better their reading. And we also work with their self esteem, when they have a mentor that sits with them one-on-one, it helps with their self esteem."

Students feel special with the one-on-one treatment. The mentors are rewarded as well.

Stephani Sowell, a mentor, said, "I like helping kids and helping them to expand and reach their highest heights."

Teachers have seen reading improvement up to three grade levels. As they are preparing to take the TAKS test, they have been working hard to get the students ready.

Rocky Rodriguez, a third grader, said, "They have games like this frog game, you learn about words and compounds. Today when I went to HOSTS and they talked about homonyms, stuff like blue and blew, like blew the wind and the color blue."

The program has been nationally recognized for nine straight years.