Last week, I had the great fortune to be introduced to an amazing non-profit called Reading Partners. If you are reading this post right now, you are blessed. There are thousands of young children across our country that are not so lucky.
However, it just takes a few people to care about something enough to take action. In 1999, Mary Wright Shaw, Molly McCrory and Jean Bacigalupi saw their neighborhood school in need and launched a reading program at Belle Haven Elementary School in Menlo Park. These women saw children that needed help and decided to make a difference. They took their skills as teachers, mothers and entrepreneurs and mobilized a community to join them.
Today, many states count prison beds based on illiteracy numbers. That is just so wrong. Rather than being reactive Reading Partners is proactive to get in there and simply:
- Focus on children from low-income communities.
- Give one-on-one instruction at the student’s reading level.
- Recruit and train community volunteers to work with children.
- Partner with high-need elementary schools to offer an effective program on campus.
- Provide a way for volunteers to give a small amount of their time to make a huge difference in a child’s life.
Their goal is to help children become lifelong readers by empowering communities to provide individualized instruction and get results. These three women started out with one school and today Reading Partners has over 3,000 volunteers in 65 schools in 5 states…all because a few women cared about their community and committed to making it better.
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