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April 22, 2019

Volunteers commit to the next chapter of students' reading progress

We can feel it; longer days, sunshine, and antsy students means summer is almost here. 

Fourth-grade student Emiliano* counts the number of curriculum packets left in the Comprehension Readers Level 2 bin, “Only four lessons left until I get to level 3!”, he exclaims. He smiles and rushes over to his tutor to start the day’s lesson.   

While schools will be out of session and volunteering will pause over summer break, the Reading Partners staff is looking ahead to next school year. Teams are setting enrollment goals and planning how to engage thousands of volunteers to deliver tutoring in the new school year.

Simultaneously, volunteers are pledging to commit to the next chapter of their students’ progress by confirming their interest to return for the 2019-20 school year. Reading Partners Colorado reports that more than 200 of their 900 volunteers have already committed to volunteering when tutoring resumes in the fall.

Returning tutors are some of the greatest assets to the Reading Partners program. They show unparalleled dedication and passion, they demonstrate an ability to build strong relationships with students, and they exhibit expertise in leading tutoring sessions. Here are just some of the reasons why returning volunteers are invaluable to volunteer-driven programs like Reading Partners.

Help enroll students earlier

Since returning tutors enter the new school year already trained, they are able to get started right away. Returning tutors, in fact, are the first group of tutors we get started every year. Our desire to serve students is urgent and returning tutors allow us to serve our most high priority students earliest in the school year.

Maximize high-quality tutoring sessions

Students paired with returning tutors receive significantly more tutoring sessions because they start earlier in the year and remain in the program for longer. More tutoring sessions over time directly impacts our students’ success in the program.

Forge strong relationships

Returning tutors possess strong relationship-building skills with students based on their prior experience and training. Students with positive student-tutor relationships have more consistent attendance (sessions per month) than students with less positive student-tutor relationships. Returning tutors ensure our students feel valued, respected, and motivated.

Model success

Returning tutors not only serve our students, they help create a warm and welcoming environment for our new volunteers. They model what success looks like and share tips with other volunteers. Returning volunteers also serve as an exceptional resource for our new reading center site coordinators.

Inform recruitment efforts

Returning volunteers are our top priorities when it comes to community engagement. Volunteers who return year-after-year build deeper relationships with our staff. They often offer valuable feedback and help guide how we recruit new volunteers.

As you can see returning tutors have a tremendous impact on our ability to provide quality literacy programming for Reading Partners students. Their dedication, ongoing support, and tutoring expertise, help maximize impact for our students.

How you can help

This spring, we hope you will pledge to commit to the next chapter of our students’ progress!

*Student’s name changed to protect privacy 

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