A Message to Volunteers

By: Efrain Toledano, Principal of the Tobin School in Boston

I would like to take this time to thank you, the tutors from Read to a Child, for your service to our school and the great impact that you have made on our students’ lives.  I often tell my students here at the Tobin that when they are writing they have to ground their argument with concrete evidence so that people can believe what they are writing.  I would like to do the same for you all.  I would like to share two pieces of evidence to ground my prior comment about the impact that you all have on Tobin students’ lives.

The first piece of evidence is anecdotal.  This piece of evidence is the fact that I am standing up here in front of you all today.  I went to the Boston Public Schools for grades K-12.  I was also the son of a mother who only had a seventh grade education.  Despite this my community rallied around me whether it was the teacher, the City Year Corps member in my classroom, or other tutors reading to me and gave me the confidence to persevere in my studies.  It is because of a community effort that I stand today as the Principal of the Tobin.  You all are doing this same work with these students.

The second piece of data that I would like to share with you all is the more quantitative type.  Here at the Tobin we assess students at the early elementary level with an assessment called DIBELS.  At the beginning of the year our students performed at the following levels: 36% were at red/in need of intensive support, 12% were at yellow/in need of strategic support, and 52% were at green/meeting benchmark.  Since then we have given the MOY assessment for DIBELS and because of efforts from community partners like you all we have seen a dramatic improvement on this data.  Our students now score 20% at red, 9% at yellow, and 71% at green.

Thank you all for helping us become better at meeting the needs of our students.


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