With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to share your love of reading with a child in Great Schools Partnership’s Leaders for Readers program.
Your gift of just $20 will provide five Knox County elementary students with a new book of their own to keep.
Great Schools Partnership’s Leaders for Readers program matches volunteers with first, second and third-grade students who need extra practice with reading. Volunteers are asked to commit to reading with assigned children one hour each week during the school year. Currently, Leaders for Reader volunteers are helping more than 450 students in 15 Knox County schools.
“Our goal is to present every participant with a brand new, high-interest book that he or she can own forever,” said Nicole Wilson, Great Schools’ Leaders for Readers project manager. “What better way to end the program year than with a token of encouragement to keep reading.”
Leaders for Readers’ mission is to increase the number of students in Knox County who can read proficiently by the end of third grade. Studies show that if a child isn’t reading at grade level by the end of the third grade, they stand a greater risk of falling behind in school. That’s when students are expected to make the leap from learning to read, to reading to learn.
Great Schools Partnership partnered with the Knox County’s Mayor’s office to kick off the program in 2015 at six elementary schools. The Leaders for Readers program has now grown to include 15 Knox County schools.
“Because of our volunteers, we’ve more than doubled the number of students we help,” said Wilson. “The program is really making a difference!”
Last year’s benchmark testing showed more growth from Leaders for Readers participants than a matched control group, and teachers report 85 percent of students improved in at least one of the measured areas.
To help us provide a new book for each of our Leaders for Readers participants click here to visit our donations webpage or call 865-215-4501 for more options. Volunteers must be 18 years or older and complete a required background check. Volunteers range in age 18 to 70-plus. Click here to sign-up as an interested volunteer now!