Tutors are needed across Silicon Valley to help hundreds of elementary school students learn to read.
Reading Partners Silicon Valley is looking for volunteers who can commit to at least an hour a week to work one-on-one with children who struggle with reading. Right now, 395 students are without a tutor.
Only 21 percent of fourth graders from low-income families are reading at grade level in 2015, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
To increase that percentage, volunteers are dispatched to 26 schools in Silicon Valley after attending one shadow session meeting. Books, reading materials and curriculum are provided to each volunteer, along with on-site program support. Volunteers simply need to bring the right attitude.
"It’s energizing," said Janet Hascall, a two-year volunteer. She reads with a young girl while on her lunch break. "I do it a couple times a week and every time I come I leave energized. So I go back to work probably in better shape than when I left. So I benefit as well as I’m hoping the children benefit."
Volunteers must be in ninth grade or above and commit to reading once a week for at least an entire year. Attendance at tutor training sessions is also highly encouraged throughout the year.
As long as those requirements are met, anyone can be a volunteer, even a police chief.
"I actually went to a meeting and sat down and received the training," said Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety Police Chief Frank Grgurina. "I was hooked up with a student last year at Bishop Elementary and did that and it was terrific."
Visit readingpartners.org for more information on becoming a reading tutor.