Read United, an initiative of United Way of Central Georgia, addresses the literacy challenges facing Central Georgia. Read United recruits volunteers to tutor kindergarten through third grade students in reading. Through tutoring, volunteers help children increase their reading literacy, become a positive influence in the child’s life, and improve the overall health and wellness of our community.
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Learning to read is critical in the early years of childhood because a shift occurs in the schools when the child enters grade four. From kindergarten to third grade, a child learns to read. When the child enters grade four, the child reads to learn. If a child does not know how to read, essentially the child cannot efficiently learn, and a downward spiral occurs.
You can positively affect your community by volunteering with Read United. Be a tutor, today!
Read United, together with the volunteers of our community, aims to close achievement gaps, increase graduation rates, and disrupt the cycle of poverty through two tutor-based programs: Experience Corps and Read2Succeed.
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Experience Corps is an intergenerational model in which tutors who are at least 50 years old will work with a struggling student over time. You may not think you’re equipped to be a tutor or mentor to students who struggle with reading. However, the fact that you can read and impart that knowledge to a younger generation is success in itself.
Because volunteers are working with children of a vulnerable population, there are five requirements a volunteer must meet:
The intergenerational factor is vital for Experience Corps to succeed and for our community to thrive. There is value between intergenerational connection—what the elder can teach and what the young can give and vice versa. The intergenerational relationship and mentoring is just as important as the academic tutoring that will take place.
The Read2Succeed program is open to volunteers ages 18 and older who would like to tutor students in reading for at least one hour a week. The program lasts from early September to late April and follows the school holiday calendar. Volunteers participate in five hours of training throughout the school year and the schools provide all tutoring materials.
The weekly tutoring sessions will be either 1-on-1 or in a group setting. Volunteers communicate with a designated volunteer coordinator at the school throughout the program. Read2Succeed requires that volunteers have a GED or high school diploma and a completed background check.
With Read2Succeed, the goal is to join teachers as another layer of assistance to these kids who may be struggling. Read2Succeed helps them learn to read, which will affect the rest of their lives. Whether learning to read affects the choices they make or what they’re able to do, it’s one of the most important things in life.