This is a quick Q&A with Sarah Ramirez, Program Assistant for The READ Center.
What is the program all about?
The READ Center is a non-profit helping adults with low literacy levels develop basic reading, math, and digital skills. Our classes are free to students and we serve adults 18 and older.
What kind of training would the volunteers receive?
Prospective volunteers participate in a three-part onboarding process:
- Volunteer Orientation: At orientation we talk more specifically about The READ Center, our students and attributes of adult learners, as well as the role and expectations of tutors.
- Classroom Observation: No one is more suited to demonstrate how the program works than our teachers and students, which is why prospective volunteers are asked to observe classroom.
- Tutor Training: one 7-hour training to explore instruction techniques in: phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and reading comprehension.
What kind of volunteer are you looking for? (do they need a degree?)
Tutors must be 18 years of age or older, have a high school diploma or GED, and have two hour per week to commit to tutoring.
Can you give us a quick success story? (something that makes people want to go “i want to do that!”)
Literacy is more than a test score-every day READ tutors support our students to achieve their goals. Latoya enrolled as a READ student three years ago to improve her reading with the goal of becoming a Certified Nurse Aide (CNA). With the support of retired Air Force nurse and READ Center tutor, Linda, LaToya has graduated from the Virginia School of Nurse Aides with an “A” average and is well on her way to passing the Virginia State Board of Nursing exam to become a Certified Nurse Aide! Our tutors offer READ students skills, expertise, and mentorship that just wouldn’t be possible without them.
Is there a deadline?
Tutoring is an on-going volunteer opportunity and interested volunteers can submit an application on our website.
And, personally, what makes you so passionate about this program?
The ability to read well is something many of us take for granted. It is something we assume every adult can do, but that is not true for one in six adults in the city of Richmond. Every important social issue is impacted by low literacy. Imagine trying to read your prescription, get a driver’s license, apply to a job online, or help your child with homework when you struggle with reading. Low literacy traps families in a cycle of poverty that is hard to break.
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4915 Radford Avenue, Ste. 204
Richmond, VA 23230