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A few months ago I started researching some
volunteer options. I saw something on the City of Alexandria Facebook page
about volunteer groups, and who to call to inquire. I contacted a very helpful
man who gave me an entire list of volunteer and mentoring possibilities.
He explained each program in detail to me, and after
consideration I decided the one that appealed to me most was a literacy program
for kids called Wright to Read.
I was told
that there was currently a shortage of adults to serve as mentors for young
kids through teens. His email had a great catchphrase: “Mentor 1
child….Change 2 lives.”
His email went on to say, “Discover
howjust an houror so a week can make a lasting impact on a
child’s future.” “Mentoring is proven to be among the most effective
ways to prevent crime, drug abuse, poor school performance, gang involvement
and teen pregnancy. A short amount of an adult’s time can make a
long-lasting impact on a child, the community, and the volunteer.”
The program I chose, Wright to Read, is an educational
program which promotes literacy through the tutoring and mentoring of elementary
school students and outreach to the Alexandria community. Their goal is to help
students learn to read and learn to enjoy reading.
Wright to Read started serving
Alexandria students in 1979, and continues to promote literacy in Alexandria
through tutoring and mentoring programs and special events such as the
Alexandria Story Festival. (More on the Story Festival in a moment.)
to Read recruits, trains, and supports volunteer tutors and mentors who
work with elementary school students on reading. They require that you read
for one hour each week with an elementary school student who is referred by his
or her teacher. The students are in grades 1-5.
Volunteer tutors are matched
with Alexandria City Public School students who are identified by their
teachers as needing help with reading. The Tutor/Mentor volunteers primarily
work with students in the public libraries, and there are also after school
reading programs. In these programs, a group of volunteers tutor at the
same time in a specified location.
to Read is a charity that recruits, screens, trains and supports volunteers
who tutor elementary students in reading and provide a mentoring
I encourage you to attend, bring your children or grandchildren, and tell others who may be interested. An example of a few of the attractions at Story Festival:
Kaleidoscope for Kids
Arts on the Horizon's The young Spectaculars and the Front Yard Adventures
Photo: Courtesy of Wright to Read website
After making the decision to sign up for the program, I attended the mentor orientation, where I filled out paperwork to get started on the process. I am very excited about meeting the child I will be working with, and getting to know him or her.
If you, or someone you know,
are interested in becoming a
mentor to a child for the Wright to
Read Program, you may attend an orientation to learn more. (A
background search and Training are required.)
I plan on
doing follow up posts on my experience with this organization. I believe
in the mission and am really excited about the possibilities.
Photo: Luisa Reyes Wright to Read Volunteer and Outreach Manager