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September 21, 2020

Partnership Highlight: Oral Roberts University

Since 2014, Oral Roberts University (ORU) has played a significant role in sending volunteers to Reading Partners, with over 75 students participating annually. Educators, like Dr. Chancey Bosch, support our mission by sending students from a field experience class to complete their practicum requirements through Reading Partners. 

“Reading Partners is designed to help meet all of the specific needs that are required for teacher candidates to fulfill during their first pre-clinical experience,” explains Dr. Bosch. The Reading Partners Connects program will provide a distinct opportunity to achieve these outcomes through a virtual platform.” 

The result is a mutually beneficial experience for the Reading Partners student and the ORU teaching candidate. For the pre-clinical experience, this creates outcomes that include a successful experience, increased ethic of care, understanding of students, and purpose in the profession.

Jesslyn Ahrends and Emily Black are just two of the 51 volunteers from ORU’s field experience class this semester. As teacher candidates at ORU, they are required to volunteer every week as part of their education practicum. Because of their school calendar, this group of tutors will begin their volunteer experience on the first day of tutoring and waste no time making a lifelong impact on students who need individualized literacy support. More tutoring sessions over time directly impacts Reading Partners’ student success in the program, so we are grateful to this group of volunteers for getting started and sharing their love of reading early in the year.

“It is important to spark a love of reading for a student in Tulsa because the ability to read empowers a student to reach their full potential as they discover and develop deeper competencies throughout their literary endeavors,” said Jesslyn. 

Just like many of our volunteers, Jesslyn’s classmate, Emily Black, is excited to become a reading partner because “reading is the foundation of education, and placing an emphasis on reading support during this pandemic is even more important because, with online school, many kids who are struggling with their reading may fall through the cracks. This program is making sure that will not happen.”

Both students agree that serving with Reading Partners provides a unique and meaningful opportunity to carry out ORU’s mission. “I believe that I am reaching ORU’s mission by tutoring these students and empowering them with the gift of reading. m. We are empowering these students with the power of reading that will help them for the rest of their lives.”

The Reading Partners team is so glad to give students from ORU and our other student volunteers from around the community opportunities to experience mentorship and to grow their skills in becoming great models for future generations of leaders and readers. 

If you would like to support Reading Partners with additional recruitment efforts, please contact Haley Biram, community engagement manager of recruitment, at haley.biram@readingpartners.org or (918) 949-1979.

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