Leaders for Readers program needing more volunteers

As Seen On WATE

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A program that helps students gain confidence in their reading skills with the help of others sharing their love of reading — is in need of more volunteers.

Janine Al-Seer with the Great Schools Partnership along with longtime volunteer Mike Collins stopped by the WATE 6 On Your Side studios to share more about the “Leaders for Readers” program.

What is the Leaders for Readers program?

Leaders for Readers started in 2015 with one very important goal —- increase the number of students in Knox County who can read proficiently by the end of third grade. Leaders for Readers partners committed volunteers with first-, second- and third-graders who are right on the cusp of reading at grade level. The volunteer commits to coming in weekly for one hour to read one-on-one with 1-4 children.

Why is reading with a child so important?

We know if a child isn’t reading on grade level by the end of third grade, they stand a greater risk of falling behind in school because that’s when students make that leap from learning to read, to reading to learn. Currently, 40 percent of Knox County third graders are reading on grade level.

The need for volunteers

Great Schools Partnership added 10 more elementary schools to its program last year, so there is a tremendous need for volunteers. The organization can only help the number of children that we have committed volunteers.

How to become a volunteer

To volunteer, call 215-4501 or go to greatschoolspartnership.com/be-a-volunteer/

For the love of reading

Book donations are being accepted

As we’re celebrating Valentine’s Day, Great Schools Partnership is inviting viewers to share their love of reading with a child by either signing up to be a volunteer or by going online and donating just $20 to help buy books for this program.

With $20, GSP can buy six books – so you’ll be buying books for six of our children to read and share with their volunteers — and to get them one step closer to being able to read on grade level.

If they can get enough money, at the end of the school year, they would like to send home one or two new books home with each of the children in the program so they’ll have those
books to read and enjoy over the summer. At Christmas, GSP was able to give each of the children in its program a new book and they loved them!

To donate, go to greatschoolspartnership.com/donate

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