“This is my first year to tutor second-graders [through the Arise2Read / TEAM Read program], and I think it’s one of the most valuable things I’ve ever done. It’s not just the reading, although that’s very important --- in fact, research shows that if you can’t read on grade level by second grade, your likelihood of living in poverty or crime as an adult greatly increases --- it’s seeing someone there who cares so much about them. They light up when they see the volunteers. It’s a person they can depend on, someone who ‘belongs’ to them. The children receive a lot of one-on-one attention, affection, and positive reinforcement, and they respond with such interest and enthusiasm. I was talking about careers with one of ‘my’ children a few days ago, and I thought I remembered her saying she wanted to be a nurse. She corrected me immediately and said, ‘Oh no, I want to be a doctor!’ I think she will achieve really great things if she keeps this mindset. She’s got a huge head start on others and can have a wonderful future. I plan on tutoring through this program next year too. I wouldn’t miss it. It’s such a joy.”
For more information, go to Arise2Read.