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February 19, 2015

Beth & Xavier: Unlocking the opportunity

Without a doubt, Reading Partners is the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done in my life

When Beth’s boss forwarded an email to her about tutoring with Reading Partners, she immediately knew she wanted to be involved. She had always wanted to be a reading tutor, and she jumped at the opportunity to work with Reading Partners at a McClure Elementary School in Tulsa, OK.

Beth’s first impression of Xavier was that shy and the “cutest [kid] I’ve ever seen in my life.” When Xavier and Beth first started their partnership, Xavier was a year behind in his reading, read very slowly, and had a difficult time sounding out words. Over the past year and a half, Xavier has improved in all aspects of his reading – from sounding out words to general fluency to his overall confidence in his own reading ability.

This year, Xavier’s biggest challenge was participating in his school’s winter reading recital, where each Reading Partners student would be reading a page of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Xavier’s page included dialogue and required, as Beth describes it, “quite a bit of inflection.” Beth knew his biggest challenge would be both his speed and projecting so that the entire audience could hear him.

To practice both speed and projection, Beth and Xavier made a game out of the process: setting an egg timer and seeing how far Xavier could get before it ran out. Once Xavier was comfortable with his speed, Beth had him move farther and farther away from her as he read—eventually he was reading his page to her from across the room! The recital was a resounding success and Beth and Xavier were both able to celebrate his progress and achievements.

Over the past year and a half, Beth has been an integral part of unlocking Xavier’s reading potential. When asked about her experience with Reading Partners, she remarked, “Without a doubt, Reading Partners is the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done in my life.”

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