Volunteers make Reading Champions into a success

FI-Letter-to-the-EditorTo the Editor

Volunteerism is alive and well in the town of Greenwich and, as the school year ends, it is time to thank those who dedicate their expertise to helping elementary students improve their reading skills and fluency.

These are the school principals, reading specialists, site directors at the Byram Archibald Neighborhood Center (BANC) and the Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich and all the tutors who participate in the townwide program known as Reading Champions.

The Reading Champions program began as a pilot in 2008. Because of the positive response by teachers, reading specialists, students and volunteer tutors and because of the reading improvements demonstrated by the participants, the program has grown by leaps and bounds.

Today Reading Champions is at 11 sites, has more than 100 volunteer reading tutors and serves more than 400 children. Each week tutors visit selected students and they read together, addressing fluency, word identification and reading comprehension. The volunteer also works to help the child gain an enjoyment and love of reading.

The improvements made by the children from October to June are quite rewarding. The students really enjoy the program, as evidenced by their smiling faces at graduation.

Reading Champions is always happy to welcome more volunteers into our program. If you have one hour a week to dedicate and if you love helping children, please join us. Applications can be obtained via the United Way website at Unitedway-greenwich.org.

 

Theresa Stanton
Greenwich

The author is a member of the Reading Champions Steering Committee.

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