I have volunteered with Read-Aloud for 3 years and it has been a rewarding experience! The children grow so much over seven months, both as people and as readers. I love that I'm identified in the halls as "Celia's reader" and am hugged by former students I have read to.
The Read Aloud Voluteer Program is an excellent program that matches kindergarten through 2nd grade students in our school with voluteer readers from outside our immediate community. The progam promotes the love of reading through the magic of children's literature. Our students develop a bond with the readers who once a week, enthusiastically make the children feel like VIPs. The readers expose the children to the world outside of our neighborhood through their experiences and the books that are read one on one. The once a month book give away day is often the start of the student's personal library. Most of our children never owned a book of their own until they became participants in the program. I am not sure who looks forward to this program more, the students or the readers. Every community should have a Read Aloud Volunteer Program.
Read-aloud operates at my school. They provide an essential missing link in poor children's experiences with books. Their philosophy is simple, and so is their action plan. Friendly volunteers read books to kids. I know my students are loathe to miss their read-aloud appointments.
I am a teacher at Chavez Elementary, and I have seen and heard many wonderful success stories from the Read-Aloud Volunteer Program. I can also share some success stories from my own account. First of all, every student in the RAV Program that I have had, has found new confidence with their reading. In addition, I have noticed a dramatic increase in their love for literature. I have one student in particular who was not too excited about reading, but since starting the program, he has been pulling out a book to read every opportunity he has!! Also, the students look forward to the RAV program each week and they sometimes remind me early in the day that it's their day to read. In fact, I have noticed that all of the students who participate in the RAV program (like those in my ELD class) really look forward to it too. They even get really excited about the books they get to keep. These are just a few of the many positives that I have seen first hand. There are many other benefits that are not so apparent, such as building rapport with an adult and receiving that attention, which contribute to a students self-esteem and help alleviate behavior issues. This is a wonderful program, and I feel grateful to have my students be part of it. A big thanks to you, Judy Sam, Carol, and the volunteers.
I have been a volunteer with this program since 2005. I learned about the organization from members of my church who had been active volunteers for yeats and spoke in glowing terms about it. The program focuses on kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade students, who are selected by their teachers as children who might benefit from the one on one attention, and the exposure to reading and books that they may not be receiving at home. I have worked with each grade level during my 4 years in the program, and have seen each student's comprehension and social interaction skills improve considerably. My most unique and rewarding experience occurred during the 2008-09 school year. I read to a 2nd grade student from Yemen, whose English skills were limited. It was frustrating at first, as it was difficult to know just how much he was profiting from the experience, and much of our time was spent in reciting the alphabet, numbers exercises and object identification. After consultation with the site coordinator, his teacher, and his other reader(each child is read to 30 minutes per week by 2 different adults), we made some adaptations to the normal program, and he thrived. His ability to converse in English improved, his social interactions were more frequent and comfortable and his comprehension was such that he listened to and seemed to understand much of what was read to him. I am a retired Probation Officer, and know first hand the importance of early intervention programs. The strengths of Read Aloud are the quality of its books, the dedication of its staff and volunteers and the individual attention the students receive. If you enjoy working with children and are looking for a positive volunteer experience, this is the place for you.