Helping Young Readers 40 Minutes at a Time
Last year, nearly 90 people, employees from companies like Raining Rose, TrueNorth Companies, Rockwell Collins, Transamerica, and individuals in East Central Iowa volunteered to help students improve their reading. Now you can join the movement!
In 2016, because of conversations with local school districts about how to improve students’ ability to read at grade-level, United Way developed a new program, Volunteers in Proficiency (VIP).
“VIP is a strategy that will help us reach our 2020 goal and help students reach their full potential. Research shows that third-grade reading proficiency rates are closely related to important education milestones, like the greater likelihood of high school graduation and attending college. These 40 minutes each week can have long-lasting impacts on local kids!” –Laura Columbus, UWECI Senior Coordinator, Education Initiatives
Cedar Rapids and College Community School Districts brought VIP volunteers to their schools because, as one teacher said, “it gives students a person who can devote all of their attention to them and help build up their confidence in reading. Anytime we have the chance to have one on one time with our students is valuable to their success.”
How to be a VIP
Being a VIP offers you the opportunity to make a lasting impact on a child’s life, in less than one hour. Teachers select students who struggle with reading and could benefit from the support of caring adults. The goal is to increase their confidence by reading with a VIP once a week. Over the twelve-week fall and spring sessions, students meet with the same VIP each week for 20 minutes and each VIP is assigned, two students.
“I love to read, so I want to help others learn to love to read as well! If that means helping students in my community gain confidence to read more, then that's what I want to do!” –VIP volunteer
Now is the time you can sign up to help even more students. Partner with your coworkers or friends at the same VIP school and help create a life-long love of reading.