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April 7, 2016

Learning from each other at Reading Partners

By: Sophia Emutu, volunteer reading partner in Charleston, SC

Every childhood memory, dream, thought had grown roots in reading. Reading has inspired me to do so many things I never thought you could do. For instance, I read a book (Mother- Daughter’s Book Club) about a really smart girl who took calculus in high school, and ever since then I told myself I would do the same thing. Senior year of high school, even though my classmates were getting senioritis, I was carrying my AP Calculus textbook, heading off to class, excited for what I would learn that day.

In my opinion, every kid should have that. Books have the transformational power to take you out of this world and explore the uncrossed boundaries of your mind.

I found out about reading Partners through the Honor’s college at the College of Charleston; we are doing a year-long service project with whatever organization I chose. I volunteered with Reading Partners because I think it will be awesome to experience all the fun I had when I was younger all over again, and I would like to spark the love of reading in every kid I meet. Hopefully that love of reading will turn into a love for learning, and that inquisitive mind would be driven to gain more knowledge in school and in life. To me literacy is not just about reading and writing, it is about being able to connect to other people, understand their experiences, and be able to share it with someone else.

My favorite part about volunteering is the moment when my student’s face lights up as he realizes something while he reads. The thing I like most about my student is that he is able to take what he read in a book and apply it to his life. Which is something I love to do too! This way we are able ask questions, receive answers, and learn about important things about life like why Sam does not like green eggs and ham.

I was most proud of my student when I tried to introduce a complex idea about the book and he totally understood me; it was like we were in our own world, speaking our own language! Those are the moments when I realize that even though they come in a small sized body, their minds can expand enormously.

Reading Partners has led me to realize that I have a passion for children and I want to help them in any way I can. That is why I plan to volunteer for Reading Partners for the rest of my college career. Reading Partners allows me to get an actual personal relationship with the people I am helping. In fact there are no boundary lines we are helping each other; we are all learning from each other.

Celebrate National Volunteer Week with Reading Partners! Share your story of volunteering on our website or use #ProudReadingPartner on social media.

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