Letter: Volunteer reading tutors help students thrive

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Reading opens the windows of the mind and awakens our imagination, but most importantly, it provides us with a cornerstone of life. The ability to read is one of the most important basic foundation skills for a successful academic career and work life.

A literacy achievement gap exists in our community. Many of our children today are impacted by a disparity in their readiness at the time they begin school. Students who are not reading at grade level by third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school. But, students can thrive with one-to-one support from caring, supportive volunteer reading tutors.

Read to Succeed Asheville/Buncombe is a nonprofit, and our mission is “to inspire and teach children to read.” Our volunteers support both Asheville City and Buncombe County Schools, working with students in K-third grade to get them on grade level reading.

My experience with R2S has given me more than I have ever given them as a volunteer. As volunteer recruitment coordinator, I meet so many interesting, dedicated individuals, eager to tutor, share and inspire. As a Reading Buddy myself, I have the privilege of tutoring a young student who is the highlight of my week. There is no way to describe the joy on the student’s face when you arrive for their tutoring session.

If you want to make a difference in a child’s life and are looking for a way to give back, please consider becoming a volunteer tutor with Read to Succeed. R2S provides complete training. Just one or two hours a week can make a difference in a child’s life. Training sessions are starting soon. You can read more about our work at r2sasheville.org, call 828-747-2277 or email me at julie.claywell@r2sasheville.org.

— Julie Claywell
Volunteer Recruitment Coordinator
Read to Succeed
Asheville

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