Manatee Clerk Dive Into Reading Volunteers

Manatee County Clerk of Court staff members step up to mentor students

BRADENTON, Fla. — Thirty-four staff members with the Manatee County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller recently participated as mentors in the Dive Into Reading program created by the Anna Maria Oyster Bar, totaling approximately 272 hours volunteered.

The 2019 program served 365 children, who collectively read 13,730 books. Approximately 354 volunteers participated to help serve 11 Manatee County elementary schools.

For about two hours each week over the course of four weeks in June, the volunteers tutored potentially at-risk children to further develop their reading skills. The Dive into Reading summer program aims to improve children’s reading levels by combating the summer slide and continue a student’s education over summer break.

Many from the Manatee County Clerk of Court’s team met with children at the Bishop Museum – a few blocks from the courthouse.

“Our management-level staff had such a rewarding experience last year that I wanted to open up this volunteer opportunity to all of our team members,” said Angel Colonneso, the Manatee County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller. “During the last four weeks, we have truly enjoyed working with these students and assisting this valuable reading program.”

Starting in the summer 2017, the restaurant invited rising third graders from local schools to eat breakfast and practice reading. Since then, the program has expanded to incorporate other grade levels and grown with support from the community and local mentors.