Kids stuff: Respect the youths

Ellen Bowditch; photo courtesy of Literacy Together

Editor’s note: The following Q&A is part of Xpress‘ annual Kids Issues. 

Ellen Bowditch, a retired elementary school teacher and professional school counselor as well as a volunteer tutor with Literacy Together, discusses her work with the local nonprofit, the importance of community involvement and the need to show care and respect to our area’s youths.

What impresses you most about the youths you work with?

I am impressed that after a full day of school, my student looks forward to tutoring time at the after-school program. He enjoys playing a game for a few minutes, which gives him a mental break. He lets me know when a task is too hard or easy so I can adjust the lesson to fit his learning style and ability, which allows him to succeed with the task so that tutoring is a positive experience.

What are ways community members can be a positive influence on our area’s youths?

Community members can be a positive influence by modeling the importance of reading, by volunteering in all schools K-12 and by reading to students and with students. Community members could host library reading events like authors do when they are trying to sell novels. They could hold town hall meetings to ask parents for input on what can hinder their children’s reading progress and what can foster the love of reading.

What do you consider your organization’s greatest impact on our area’s youths?

I think Literacy Together’s greatest impact on our youths is getting the message out that we care and respect our youths in our communities. This organization works hard to train tutors and provide teaching materials so all youths who would like to improve their reading skills can have this additional reading support because they are worth the time and effort!

Editor’s note: This article was updated on March 13, 2023.


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