Jan 11, 2013

Reading Buddies make a difference

DARKE COUNTY--Did you know that reading is the cornerstone of all learning for children? Sadly, research shows:

* only 53% of children aged 3 to 5 are read to by family members.

* most teachers do not have even 5 minutes a day to read individually with each student in class.

* at-risk students by the first grade have a vocabulary that is approximately half of other students.

* if intervention is delayed until age seven, seventy-five percent of children will continue having difficulty.

It is clear that the sooner a child can develop a love of reading the better; so who can help these young children learn to read for a brighter future? It can be you, through the new “Reading Buddies” program that instills within children a love of reading—even before they can read!

“Reading Buddies” are RSVP volunteers who commit to read one-on-one with children in the local Kids Learning Place/Head Start centers. By reading regularly with children in the “Reading Buddies” program, you will be ensuring the next generation will be unstoppable!

What is required to be a RSVP “Reading Buddy”?

* Commit to volunteer a minimum of one hour per month.

* You must like working with young children aged 3 – 5 years; which means patience is not just a virtue, but a requirement.

* Prior experience with reading stories aloud is helpful, but not necessary. Training is provided so that you will have the skills you need - you won’t be sent out until you are not only competent, but confident.

* Be 18 or older and have transportation to a local preschool/Head Start center.

* Must be willing to have a background check and a physical (both provided free of charge); we treasure our youngest patrons and want to proceed in their best interests.

If you live in Darke County and are 55+ years of age, this program could be just right for you. We can also make referrals for younger adults. Call the local RSVP Darke County recruiter, Cheryl Stafford, 548-8002, or email her: dkrsvp@councilonruralservices.org.

For more information about the programs of Council on Rural Services … programs for innovative learning, visit www.councilonruralservices.org.

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