Reading Champions literacy program needs volunteers

Greenwich United Way Reading Champions, in partnership with the Greenwich Public Schools, will expand into Parkway School this fall.

“We are very excited to put into action our flagship program which has proven to be successful in all of the other Greenwich elementary schools,” said Greenwich United Way CEO, David Rabin. He continued, “With the addition of Parkway School, Reading Champions is now in all public elementary schools.” The literacy program pairs Greenwich youth with trained community volunteer tutors to build fluency skills during the school year. “Now is the time to join the ranks and become a trained volunteer tutor as Reading Champions gets underway in late September,” said the Program Coordinator at Greenwich United Way, Marie Wardell.

Volunteers work on site with 1st through 5th-grade students on fluency using specific reading passages and reviewing difficult words and phrases. All children master Fry words, which are the most common words used in English ranked in order of frequency. Session results are entered into a graph which allows students to measure progress. At some locations, kindergarten students work with volunteers on specific grade level tasks assigned by their teacher. During the after-school program, in addition to working on fluency, volunteers help children with their homework assignments. Volunteer tutors are trained and no teaching experience is needed. Tutoring opportunities are always available.

Since 2008, Reading Champions volunteers have assisted over 3,000 children in achieving individual reading goals in fluency. More than 130 volunteer tutors contribute an average of 4,000 volunteer hours each year. By enabling students to obtain immediate feedback, and receive one-on-one personal attention, the program has been a resounding and proven success.

In conjunction with the Greenwich Public Schools reading curriculum, Reading Champions contributes to the development and growth of students’ fluency. Greenwich United Way Reading Champions serves all 11 elementary schools in Greenwich and the Byram Archibald Neighborhood Center (BANC), Community Centers, Inc. of Greenwich (CCI), Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich (BGCG), and the Y.W.C.A. of Greenwich. Contact Greenwich United Way Program Coordinator, Marie Wardell, for more information ([email protected]).  

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