School is back in session across central Georgia and Read United grade-level reading initiative kicks off its fifth year with central Georgia schools in just a couple weeks. Read United is aimed at improving youth literacy in central Georgia from birth to eight years old. Volunteers with Read United focus on improving kindergarten through third grade level reading at 14 schools in Bibb and Houston Counties.
More than 80% of children from low income families don’t read proficiently by the end of third grade and students who can’t read proficiently by the end of 3rd grade are four times less likely to graduate. In the 2018-2019 school year, 298 Read United volunteers tutored 738 students between Bibb and Houston County Schools. At the end of last year’s school year, 89% of the participating 3rd grade students in Bibb County, who were served by a United Way of Central Georgia Read United volunteer tutor, passed his/her Georgia Milestone test on the initial attempt and did not have to be remediated during summer opportunity school.
“We’ve found that the Read United program is mutually beneficial to the student and volunteer,” said Sylvia McGee, Project Director, AARP Experience Corps. “The student gains confidence as a reader and individual, while the volunteer gains satisfaction in seeing growth. We value the volunteer as a role model and mentor for the student and we see the benefits sustaining throughout the child’s academic years.”
United Way of Central Georgia is accepting volunteers for the 2019-2020 Read United year. The first Read United volunteer training for this school year will be August 26th-27th.