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About our COVID-19 Response
About Read to a Child
When an adult reads aloud to a child, both parties have a joyful, rewarding experience that instills a love of reading, improves literacy skills, and enhances a child’s well-being.
Read to a Child’s model is based on the premise that a love of reading is a driver of opportunity for children throughout their lifetime. A caring connection with a reading mentor helps to facilitate the attention, engagement, and confidence that all children need to thrive.
Click here to learn more about the importance of reading aloud.
In measurable studies comparing children who participated in the Read Aloud Mentoring Program with those who didn’t, the numbers were overwhelmingly clear. In just the first year of participating in the Read Aloud Mentoring Program alone, nearly every child—99%—improved in the one of more of the following areas: enthusiasm for books & reading, ability to articulate thoughts, listening skills, exposure to new vocabulary, knowledge, and ideas, self-confidence, one on one mentoring, and social and emotional well-being
Click here to expand upon our results.
For a child who struggles with reading, the benefits are many. Improved reading skills have been proven to raise academics across the board. Even classroom behavior and focus improve.
For our volunteer mentors, the benefit is knowing your small time commitment will have a considerable impact on the well-being of a child as well as the enjoyment of the rewarding experience of spending time with a child on a joyful activity.
For our corporate partners, the benefit is the ability to contribute to your local communities in a meaningful and measurable way by participating in a company volunteer program, to provide an opportunity for employee engagement that results in greater employee satisfaction and retention, and to align with a respected non-profit for positive, socially-minded promotional opportunities.
We rely on teachers and other school officials from our participating schools to refer students who could most benefit from our program.
Students start the program as early as Kindergarten in some locations and generally stay with the program through fourth grade.
Read to a Child responds to a school's invitation to partner when they have demonstrated need that includes: more than 80% of students are classified as low-income; the school receives Title 1 funds; has scored lower than average on state literacy tests and has high numbers of English Language Learners.
Our read aloud program is hosted at Title I partner elementary schools in the greater metropolitan areas of Boston, Detroit, Hartford, Los Angeles, and Miami. In our virtual program, volunteers will participate by video from their homes.
Click here to find a Read Aloud Mentoring Program location nearest you.
The commitment is 20-30 minutes a week for roughly the duration of the school year, excluding holidays and vacations. In our virtual program, volunteers will participate by video from their homes. Timing details will differ by location and school.
Typically, our students are those who are willing and able to participate in the program and would benefit from one or more of the following:
1) Increased enthusiasm for books and reading,
2) English literacy support including listening comprehension and vocabulary
3) One-on-one time spent with a caring adult.
Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age, able to make the weekly time commitment (or biweekly, where offered) during a weekday lunchtime, and must live within reasonable commuting range of one of our partner schools. Learn more about volunteers by clicking here.
Yes. All volunteers will receive instructions to complete an online or live training, which usually takes less than an hour.
The Read Aloud Mentoring Program is designed to be flexible and convenient, allowing busy professionals to volunteer. You may pair up with a colleague to be matched with the same student, alternating weeks. Also, we often offer sessions on more than one day a week so you may have the option of requesting to switch your day is something comes up (check with your Program Coordinator for local details).
A Read to a Child Program Coordinator provides volunteer support at each school site. Contact your Program Coordinator to ask questions or notify them that you need to cancel or reschedule your session for another day that week.
To learn more about volunteering with Read to a Child, please click here. If your company is interested in corporate volunteer opportunities, please click here to learn more about how to become a corporate partner. If your company already partners with Read to a Child, please contact your Read to a Child representative at your company.
Click here to learn more about our corporate partner program and contact your Read to a Child regional representative about getting your employees involved in a Read Aloud Mentoring Program in your area.
You can support Read to a Child in other ways. Click here to make a donation to help fund our Read Aloud Mentoring Program so we can expand and reach even more children. To make purchases on Amazon and benefit Read to a Child through Amazon Smile, click here and select Read to a Child as the nonprofit organization of your choice.