Growing up with a love of volunteering and making an impact in her community was what drew Neelu to Read to a Child. Books and reading had a huge impact on Neelu, she reflected on how thankful she was to those that read to her as a child. Becoming a volunteer in the Read Aloud Mentoring Program was a way for Neelu to give back the gift that she had been given of being read to regularly when she was a child.
Neelu noticed a profound development in her mentee’s self-confidence throughout a year of reading together. “In the beginning, she was very shy, quiet and in her shell,” Nelu described when reflecting on her time with her mentee. Over time, she began to blossom and become increasingly engaged with their reading material – giving opinions and thoughts, asking questions about the stories, and even selecting books to read during reading sessions.
Seeing the direct impact on the growth and reading confidence of a child is what keeps Neelu coming back to Read to a Child. Knowing that she is making an impact on their life through the power of reading aloud has meant a lot to Neelu, who recognizes that reading aloud is an impactful formative experience for young people – just like herself.