Reading Buddies Program:
One of the major problems that we face here in the Mississippi Delta is literacy. Many of our students in the public school system cannot read on their respective grade levels, which, in turn, causes failure. Since literacy is a major part of Rotary, our local club decided to partner with Carrie Stern Elementary School in 2001 to help students who were not meeting their academic expectations in their particular grade.
The Greenville Rotary Book Buddies Program developed with administration and faculty fully supporting the Program. The teachers at the school readily assigned the children who need tutoring once a week for an hour or a half hour. This gives the student and the volunteer enough time to develop some type of positive reinforcement. The Greenville Rotary Club knew at the time that in order to be successful, it needed to reach out to as many people in the community to make a difference. Therefore, over the last fifteen years, there have been over 200 Rotarians and community leaders who have made an impact at Carrie Stern School.
Another great advantage was asking the St. Joseph Catholic School to partner with Rotary in the Reading Buddies Program at Stern in 2005. The students from St. Joseph visited the school once a week to tutor and mentor with one or two students, which has been very effective. Teachers have asked the St. Joe students to guide and direct the children and set good examples for their daily lives. When one sees the student/child in a reading situation, one can only see the positive effects that show up in the eyes of the children. They look forward each week to their reading buddy. Whether it’s kindergarten, first, second or third grades, the reading buddies program enhances mental and emotional development which is critical in the early years of a child. So many times one can see how difficult it is for a mother or father to provide additional time in the home to tutor their children or read to them.
The St. Joseph Catholic School has done an amazing job in working with the students at Stern School, as well as providing a wonderful mentoring relationship between students and children. The process develops character that will remain with the Stern students for life eternity. And that is truly a vital part of Rotary: Service above self!
Please think about giving your gift of reading to help a child this year. Our program is for only one hour, once a week from 8:00-9:00 a.m. or 9:00-10:00 a.m. during September through May.
For more information, Contact:
Reading Buddy Director