October 11, 2016
Nonprofit in need of volunteers to help teach children to read
Originally published by KTUL ABC 8.
By Lauren Partain
TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) — Reading Partners, a nonprofit that helps children get back on track with their reading level, is in need of volunteers.
The program helps students in kindergarten through third grade who are up to two and a half years behind their classmates’ target reading level. Reading Partners serves about 1,300 students across the Tulsa area.
Elizabeth Vereecke, the program’s executive director, said a student’s ability to read is critical. She said students are four times less likely to graduate from high school if they aren’t reading by the end of third grade.
“We found that last year 90 percent of our students mastered those foundational literacy skills that they need to read on grade level, so our volunteers really do matter for kids,” she said. “Volunteers really do get results for students.”
Tess Tucker-Trainum, who has volunteered to help children in the past, is now the site coordinator at Tulsa Legacy Charter School.
“I love it,” she said. “It is the best. It just feeds my soul. Every morning I just wake up and want to come here. I got more out of it even than the kids did. I mean, I felt so good that I was making a difference and a difference that you can see. You can see how the children already change.”
Volunteers are required to give as little as one hour a week. Times are available Monday through Thursday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.
The program needs about 2,000 volunteers this year, especially at the Tulsa Legacy Charter School, Gilcrease Elementary School and Penn Elementary School.
To volunteer, go to readingpartners.org.