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May 12, 2016

Above and beyond the call of service

Pat Chase has a history of giving back to her community. She is an active member of Seniors Helping Seniors and she holds a leadership role in the Senior Ministry of Sanctuary Charlotte Church (SCC). But she’s always had a love of reading and a passion for literacy. As a child living in New York City, Pat loved to read. Growing up, she noticed how her knowledge and passion for literacy gave her an advantage. “If you can’t read, you won’t have success in other subjects. I was always interested in doing a program like Reading Partners but didn’t know how to begin,” she said.

After a perfectly timed article in The Charlotte Observer, and a couple of emails later, Pat found a wonderful match with the newly launched Reading Partners Charlotte, and she was ready to volunteer! But her impact didn’t stop with volunteering. She invited Reading Partners Charlotte to come speak to her congregation of 400+ people. “It was a no brainer!” Pat said.

With Pat’s help and guidance, Reading Partners Charlotte has formed a strong partnership with Sanctuary Charlotte Church. Since January, SCC volunteers have provided over 50 hours of tutoring to eight students in three different Charlotte reading centers. And Pat is working continuously to expand the partnership — every week she collects the names of new and potential volunteers.

When asked what she shares with new volunteers, Pat talked about the mentor/mentee relationship that forms. “Being a mentor is like having a hand in shaping a youngster’s life in a positive way. I enjoy the interaction with the student. It’s a one-on-one experience, which is the most important. We also laugh a lot! She says that I remind her of her grandmother.”  

But Pat was quick to also mention the benefits that she receives as a volunteer.

The rewards are great. It gives me a sense of accomplishment right along with the student. This wonderful program has also redefined how I read to my own grandchildren. I was doing a lot of things right but didn’t know why, and now I understand the true benefits.

In this first semester of programming, Reading Partners Charlotte is thankful for volunteers like Pat who have gone above and beyond the call of service. “She is always really engaged with her student and passionate about connecting with her. It has also been great to see how many volunteers she’s brought in!” expressed Valerie Moyer, reading center coordinator at Joseph Grier Academy in Charlotte.

Reading Partners Charlotte is grateful for the partnership that Pat has begun with Sanctuary Charlotte Church, and is looking forward to engaging even more SCC volunteers as reading partners expands next year in Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools!

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