In late 2015, I began looking for volunteer opportunities as a way to give back to my community. I came across Wright to Read and was impressed with the organization’s mission and what they’ve accomplished. I know how important and enjoyable reading can be and I wanted to help a child experience this same joy and prepare them to succeed in life. Shortly after expressing an interest and going through the formalities, I was paired with Liam — a wonderful second (now third) grade student at Patrick Henry Elementary School.
When our sessions first began in January 2016, Liam wasn’t very interested in reading on Saturday mornings (let alone at all); however, I soon gained his trust and utilized some resources from Wright to Read to make the sessions as enjoyable as possible. As time progressed, Liam began to make improvements in the way of taking the time to sound out words, identifying words more quickly, and reading comprehension.
Liam began to take note of his own progress, which only made him want to get better. Noticing the positive change in his effort and attitude towards reading, I made sure to acknowledge his progress in various ways (e.g., verbal praise, stickers, and spot awards). Overall, Liam has become more interested in reading and is eager to get to the reading portion of our sessions, which gives me great joy.
Liam has been such a joy to work with and I have been so impressed and amazed with his progress. It’s safe to say that Liam now enjoys reading. He has improved by leaps and bounds, and even recently received a verbal shout out over the PA system at school for his progress in reading. Liam’s parents tell me about all the various opportunities he takes to improve his reading skills: reading to younger neighbors, reading to his parents, requesting to read the newspaper, among others. Every time I hear something like this, it puts a smile on my face and makes what I’m doing worthwhile. Liam was promoted to the third grade and I look forward to continuing our work together.
Each week, Ms. Corrine and I practice sight words and read together at the library. We have been working together for over one year. The types of books we read include half human and half animal books. We also read monster and superhero books. Some special things I have enjoyed doing with Ms. Corrine include reading books and fun activities such as word games. I also enjoy when Ms. Corrine talks to my parents. Ms. Corrine has helped me learn how to spell her name, to enjoy reading, and I’ve learned more about animals. I think Ms. Corrine should be mentor of the month, because she has helped me with my reading and she has been with me every step of the way.
From Liam’s Mom
We have seen great progress in our son's reading level since he began being tutored by a wonderful, encouraging, and generous woman. We are so grateful to her and Wright to Read for all of their assistance.
Wright to Read is a member of the Alexandria Mentoring Partnership (AMP). AMP was created in 2006 to ensure that quality mentors and mentor programs are available for Alexandria's youth and young adults in need. To learn more about Wright to Read, visit: www.wrighttoread.org or to learn more about AMP, visit: http://www.alexandriava.gov/Mentoring.