Consider volunteering through Read to Succeed

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The new year presents itself with an opportunity to evaluate our lives and maybe even make a resolution or two. One of those may be to look for more ways to reach out and help others. Your United Way asks you to consider giving just one hour a week to make a real difference in the lives of our community's children.

Our GRACES Women's Council has established in the Cape public elementary schools a reading intervention program called Read to Succeed. Through a wonderful collaboration with our public schools and with the amazing passion of more than 150 volunteers, in the first semester of this school year we have helped more than 100 children improve their reading skills, with an additional 100 ready for the second semester. Children who don't read at the appropriate level by the end of third grade have a four to five times greater chance of dropping out of school. Our results are helping to ensure our students are successful in their education and beyond.

We need more volunteers for the upcoming sessions beginning in the next two weeks. The commitment is a minimum of one hour (or less) per week and the lone qualification is simply the ability to read. Times and days of the week are very flexible to meet any schedule. All you have to do is talk to one of our volunteers to understand the impact this program has had on their lives. Relationships are formed and the difference made is gratifying.

Please consider joining us. Call Monique Johnson, program director, at the United Way office at 334-9634 to sign up or get more information. You will be glad you did.

Nancy L. Jernigan is executive director of the United Way of Southeast Missouri.

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