Help Children Discover a Passion for Reading

By Kelley Smithey, Member of Metro EDGE's Communications Committee

I love to read. Ever since I can remember I was either reading a book, or having a book read to me by someone. Reading is what led me to fall in love with writing. The stories I read helped me understand the world I lived in, and how the characters related to people I knew in my own life.

I can’t imagine not reading, which is why I love volunteering with Reading Partners. Reading Partners is a national organization with a strong presence in Sacramento Title 1 schools. The organization recruits, trains and pairs volunteer tutors with students who are reading six months to two years below reading level. Volunteers make a weekly commitment to work with a child one-on-one using structured, research-based curriculum.

Unfortunately, in Sacramento County, 13 percent or 142,748 of the total adult population lack even the most basic literacy skills. Nationwide, only 20 percent of low-income students, and 34 percent of students overall, are reading proficiently by the fourth grade. Reading Partners is determined to change these statistics and works with schools and communities to unlock the skills of students who struggle with reading.

For the past month, I’ve been volunteering as a tutor with Reading Partners Sacramento. I’ll admit I was a little nervous. Teaching runs my family, but I wasn’t sure if I inherited the gene. Even if you’re not book-obsessed like me, it is an opportunity to change a child’s life. The great thing about Reading Partners, is the curriculum is easy to follow along. All you need is a good attitude and at least one hour of your time to spare each week.

If you’re not sure about the commitment, there are plenty of other options to give back and support Reading Partners including:

  • Donate $25.97 to Reading Partners today, during BIG Day of Giving!
  • Join the Board for Reading Partners
  • Donate books or basic school supplies to one of Reading Partners’ local locations
  • Help get the word out by encouraging others to volunteer or share information about the program

Whether its volunteering as a “reading partner” or donating your skills and resources, you have the opportunity to help an organization make a lasting impact in the Sacramento region.