It’s that time of year again! We are tremendously excited about the upcoming school year, and are already making plans to make this a great year for our students. That means we need you to join us and volunteer to help students achieve their reading goals. Last year, we had the best year in volunteers yet, and that’s why your involvement – whether new or continued – is more important than ever.
Why Teacher-led Reading Environments Aren’t Enough
Reading is one of the most important life skills we learn at an early age. We have found copious amounts of research that conclude that getting children reading at appropriate levels by the third grade is vital. Up to that point, children are learning to read, but as they get older and move into higher levels of education, they will be reading to learn, taking their reading skills with them through college and into the adult world.
It is well-known that teachers are overworked in our society. Overcrowded classrooms, impractical timelines, and a lack of useful supplies make the job of being a teacher nearly impossible. Teachers have to adhere to stringent reading agendas in the classroom, with specific goals and expectations set for students. Reading time is often part of lectured instruction, and there just isn’t enough time to read for fun.
That is where the community is needed. Volunteer readers interact with students in one-on-one settings: as they read a book out loud together, they discuss the book together. Rather than the lecture format of most classrooms, this is a chance for the child to communicate with an adult on more equal footing. It is an opportunity for the volunteer and the student to relate to each other as human beings, rather than as adult and child. That’s vital for a child’s personal growth into adulthood.
Why We Need Both New and Repeat Volunteers
Repeat Volunteers Provide Stability
There have been so many great volunteers over the years with this program. We couldn’t be happier with the many great people who have come to devote their time and energy in helping students succeed. That’s why we need you back. We need you to bring that same energy to the many struggling students who need your help.
In addition to overworked classrooms, there is an often overlooked factor. Many schools are setup to send children from one grade to the next. That often means sending them from one teacher to the next. This is great for teaching children to adapt to change. That said, children see enough change in their daily, monthly, and yearly environments. As a repeat volunteer, you provide them with another opportunity for a stable relationship, a consistent and ongoing dialogue, if you will, to help them become better readers and succeed over time.
New Volunteers Bring Fresh Energy and Insight
If you’re new to volunteering with us, you may feel slightly intimidated, and that’s okay. Jumping into a new project is always a challenge. That’s why we at Education Connection are here for you. We will guide you through the process of helping children improve their reading skills, and we need you.
We need the different perspectives that new volunteers bring to the table. We need that fresh spark. We need you.
Setting a Foundation for the Future
We want all children reading (and reading well) by the end of third grade. Here at Education Connection, this is our most important goal for our students. You can help us and them to reach this goal by volunteering your time to read.
Most importantly, achieving this goal doesn’t mean that children stop learning to read past the third grade. It means that as they continue that learning process in conjunction with reading to learn for their academic career, they still need a solid base to do both. Getting them hooked on reading for pleasure, as well as learning, will be what keeps them working through the tough times of their reading practice. It will make them adult readers.
That’s real success, and we couldn’t do it without you.
Registration is now open! Please join us on our mission to see “every child reading by the end of third grade”, and to impact the life of a child in a mighty way. www.education-connection.org