Clearwater6Get Paid for Grades Improves Literacy in Two Schools in Pinellas County

Get Paid for Grades expanded this year to provide more resources to students, teachers and administrators. Student enrollment increased in 2016 to include both elementary and high school students.

Students were provided supplemental tutoring sessions, aimed to improve literacy. Tutors were selected and assigned by the school’s administration. Tutors worked both one-on-one and in group sessions on a weekly basis to achieve measurable reading level improvements.

Students enjoyed the tutoring sessions, when asked how they benefited most they said, “It has been very fun, I stayed after with a tutor, I understood more… this impacted me and my future by giving me better reading comprehension”- Dawn. “My confidence grew in my reading skills through one-on-one instructions with my tutor”- Sophia. “Extra tutoring after school increased my grades”-Jalin.  

Tutors witnessed an amazing improvement in their students. Jennifer Jakubzak, Tutor said, “Students feel more comfortable with their reading struggles in a safe place outside of the classroom filled with peers…It helped them to be more trusting, to let their guard down, and in the end, be more confident and motivated to learn despite their reading level.”

Elementary School Program

The focus is to strengthen students reading foundation and confidence. Students successfully completed the program once they increased reading skills and improved their grades.monica and kids

Belleair Elementary School enrolled 11 students into the Get Paid for Grades program. All participating students  improved their reading skills.

Parents of enrolled students noticed an improvement in their child’s reading. “Sometimes he surprises me when we are at home and he pronounces words and he knows the sounds and differentiates the names of the letters.” said P. Valencia’s mom. “Since beginning this program, my son improved in everything.” remarked T. Bryant’s mom.

High School Program

The focus is to enhance the students reading levels, improve confidence and increase sustainability skills. High school students had the opportunity to be awarded $500 upon successful completion of three performance metrics; increased reading, completion of 12 online workshops, and grade improvement. Jaleesha, participant and Clearwater high school student said, “I think this was a great way for students who rarely do work to be able to get the job done knowing there is a reward at the end so it would make them strive to do their best.”

16 Clearwater High School students successfully completed the Get Paid for Grades program and were awarded $500 each to assist them in the next phase of their lives. “When you are motivating students with money, that’s the buy-in at first.  But then in the end you realize that they’re not just doing in for the money—they end up getting a certain confidence about them and the motivations comes more from within” tutor Jennifer Jakubzak pointed out.


Enhancing Learning Experiences

Get Paid for Grades awards $250 Microsoft gift certificate for each student who successfully completes the program. The funding can be used to purchase classroom technologies that will enhance all students’ learning experiences. 










Monica Eaton-Cardone, the program’s executive director commented, “This has been a very humbling year to see all the students go through the program and find unbelievable success. I’m confident that we’ve been able to make a difference in these students’ lives and hopefully, in generations to come.” Sandra Gray, program manager added, “Success stories like Clearwater High School really speak to the American Spirit! Our goal is to assist more schools throughout Pinellas County next year.”