Richer's Read to a Child Program
In the fall of 2014, Marlborough Public Schools piloted a reading program at Richer Elementary called Read to a Child. The program pairs volunteer readers from local corporations with our students in an effort to promote literacy and foster relationships.
Volunteers spend one lunch hour a week at Richer, reading one-on-one to a child. The students are chosen by the school for participation in the program, and often they are below-average readers who come from families that lack proficient reading skills.
Reading aloud to a child is an important activity for building a child’s knowledge and passion for books, and Read to a Child helps fill that developmental gap in children who lack this activity at home.
The benefits to the students are many: increased enthusiasm for books and reading, improved ability to articulate thoughts and ideas, vocabulary growth, increased self-confidence, improved reading ability and comprehension, and more.
The benefits to the volunteers are significant as well. Generally, a volunteer is paired with the same child throughout a school year, thus establishing a mentor-type relationship with a trusted adult. Volunteers can experience the growth of a child’s trust, the development of better communication skills, and the improvement of comprehension abilities.
Businesses and corporations that support their employees’ involvement in Read to a Child make a significant contribution to their community by enriching the learning environment for students who need it the most. A school site coordinator for Read to a Child takes care of the logistics, greatly reducing the need for administrative time on the part of the employers.
What started off in late 2014 as a handful of volunteers reading to a few Richer first-graders has grown to a schoolwide program. Currently, we have 71 reading mentors working with 57 Richer students grades 1-4. We are very grateful to BNY Mellon, BJ's, TJX, Boston Scientific, St. Mary's Credit Union and Bose for supporting their employees’ participation in this program.
To become involved in Richer’s Read to a Child initiative or to learn more, contact Richer Principal Dr. R.J. Skaza at firstname.lastname@example.org or (508) 460-3504 or Read to a Child Program Director Linda Winin at (617) 670-0881 or email@example.com. You can also visit www.readtoachild.org to learn more about the program.
One lunch hour a week of a volunteer’s time can make a lifetime of difference to a child.