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April 5, 2016

Having fun with challenges

Back to National Volunteer Week blog

Ma’ayan Epstein, volunteer reading partner in San Francisco, CA

Ma’ayan volunteers as a reading partner at Rosa Parks Elementary School in San Francisco. Ma’ayan is a high school student at Jewish Community High School of the Bay, and heard about Reading Partners through a community outreach fair at her school. She knew it was an opportunity she could not pass up because of the chance to build an individual relationship with a student.

Ma’ayan was paired with fourth grader, Katie*, who was shy and easily grew bored when reading. With Ma’ayan’s consistency, attention, and efforts to keep Katie engaged, Katie soon improved from a beginner to an intermediate reading level. Ma’ayan noticed drastic improvements—Katie was able to read and pronounce words and sentences she had struggled with only a week before, catching up to grade-level proficiency with every reading session.

Ma’ayan explains,

Reading Partners is the most rewarding form of community service I have ever done. I think that I gained just as much from Reading Partners as I gave, because I learned how to relate to students, engage them in different ways, and overall learn to have fun with challenges.

*Student names have been changed to comply with student privacy laws.

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