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Ultimate Alum Aims to Increase Classroom Literacy Through Teach for America

Former Kansas City Chief, Kendall Kremer, reads to Lorenz’ students.

Former Kansas City Chief, Kendall Kremer, reads to Lorenz’ students.

Frankfort native and Ultimate Volleyball Club alum Elyse Lorenz is already making a big impact in her first year teaching for Teach for America and is looking for some help.

Lorenz is a 2006 graduate of Lincoln-Way East High School, where she played volleyball. She then attended Merrimack College in North Andover, Mass. on a volleyball scholarship and graduated in December 2010. Shortly after graduation in January 2011, she applied for the Teach for America program. “In college I worked at a preschool in a low-income area and that experience motivated me to do more for underprivileged children. Teach for America gave me that opportunity,” said Lorenz. Teach for America is a national teacher corps of recent college graduates who commit two years to teach and to effect change in under-resourced urban and rural public schools and become leaders in the effort to expand educational opportunity.

After a comprehensive interview process, Lorenz was offered a position with TFA. “Leadership was one of the main qualifications that Teach for America looks for, and volleyball definitely conditioned and prepared me for that.” Shortly after accepting the position, Lorenz attended a five-week institute in Los Angeles, Calif., where she attended classes and taught summer school.

In August 2011, Lorenz began her first year teaching kindergarten for Kansas City School District 33 in Kansas City, Mo. “The experience has been incredibly eye-opening. My students live in an area of high poverty. They love when I read aloud because many of them do not have books of their own, and many of their parents do not speak English. In order to ensure that my students leave my classroom reading on or above grade level, they need daily exposure to literature. Kindergarten is one of the most crucial years for fundamental development in education and I’m seeking the public’s help in making the most of this year for my young students.”

Lorenz started an initiative to implement a listening center in her classroom. Her students are in need of a listening center with headphones, cd players, and books to develop fluency, build vocabulary, and improve their listening and comprehension skills. “My students are eager to learn, and a listening center in our classroom will help broaden their worlds and improve their focus, comprehension, and fluency.”

Please help Elyse Lorenz bring the joy of reading to her classroom and help her students become successful readers by donating to her listening center at by May 16, 2012. All donations made between March 12-19 will be matched by the Board of Directors by entering the matching code: BLOOM.

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