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April 24, 2014

Reading Partners Brighten Each Others Day

Katie Slattery student LuzSince the beginning of the semester, San Jose State University student Katie Slattery has been tutoring Cesar Chavez fourth grader, Luz, two days a week. The Reading Partners team will often catch them discussing the main idea of a text and then giggling, mixing productive time with a healthy dose of bonding.Luz describes her special partnership with Katie, stating, “I love [Katie]. She never makes me feel bad when I get an answer wrong.”

The warmth in their interactions is mutual, Katie once described Luz as “plumb adorable.” Katie went on to say that, “[Luz] tells great stories about her siblings, and has even told me some good jokes. But, her funniest moments come from her honest inquiries and observations. One session she asked me if ‘this tutoring program’ was my job. I told her that it was not. I am just a volunteer, I said. She looked at me, tilted her head to the side and said, completely deadpan, ‘You mean you’re not even getting paid to be here? Then why even do it?!'”

Aside from her child development course requirement, Katie says she tutors because she wants to see Luz’s confidence and reading skills grow. “I love the moments when Luz not only understands the concept we are discussing and reading, but makes up an example that is even better than the book! For example, we were reading a section in a plant book about pollination the other day, and Luz made the connection that it was as if the flowers were sending messages to each other using the bee or hummingbird as the mailman. Such a perfect and creative connection!”

“It sounds so obvious and cliché, but you really end up being so proud of your Reading Partner and thrilled about their continued improvement,” says Katie.

Katie and Luz brighten each others day each time they read together. This is what Reading Partners is all about, bringing members of the community and struggling young readers together to create a brighter day and a future for both students and tutors.

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