Volunteers Help Disadvantaged Children with “Read With Me” Volunteer Programs

Read With Me Volunteer Programs began in 2004 by Roberta and Clay Klein when they found out from the Coachella Valley School District that local schools needed English-speaking role models to help students improve their English language skills.

Its mission evolved to help disadvantaged children who live in poverty and come from homes where no English is spoken to learn to read and speak English. All research on the effectiveness of education indicates that if a child is not reading at grade level by third grade, they will drop out of high school and fail to succeed at work, and often get in trouble and wind up in prison. In 2004 only 51% of the students, mainly from the east valley, graduated from high school. Now, 16 years later, 86.1% of the students graduate from high school.

Fully vaccinated volunteers are invited to commit two to three hours once or twice a week and may go to the school of their choice on the day or days of the week that is most convenient during the school season. For those who need to take a bus to remote east valley schools, Read With Me Volunteer Programs provides three busses from Palm Desert and one bus from La Quinta. The volunteers are assigned to a specific grade level of their choosing and work under the direction of the teacher with children in small groups or one on one. The children read to the volunteer and the volunteer helps with pronunciation and comprehension by asking questions.

The children often express their love from the individual adult attention they receive, and the teachers express their appreciation for the volunteer help. Statistics have shown that children tutored by volunteers progress on the average 50.7% more than the rest of those in their class.

“I have so enjoyed, and am enjoying, working with 4th-grade kids in Mecca,” said volunteer Mary Frances Stuck. “Not only do the children read the assigned reading of the week with me, but also materials that I prepare related to those readings, as well as current calendar events in the hope that they don’t get bored. This enables them to make connections from the readings in class to the larger world.”

"Read With Me" Programs Need More Volunteers Now

After school volunteer with students.

At least twice a year, Read With Me Volunteer Programs also sponsors book giveaways at all schools to all 9000 students participating in its programs. The children are thrilled to select and receive these new books that they can call their own.

“Thank you, Read With Me Volunteer Programs, for giving us free books,” said Altana, a student from Cathedral City Elementary School. “Now we can practice our reading. Reading every day makes you smarter, and you can learn new words.”

Read With Me Volunteer Programs demonstrate stunning proof that caring adults can change the path of a child’s life by helping them learn to read and succeed where English is the dominant language. Fluency is needed for all learning, including math and science.

“We invite you to share your time, expertise, and talent with us in our most joyful mission,” said Roberta Klein. “Helping disadvantaged children become successful, contributing citizens in our local communities is extremely rewarding. We are accepting new and returning volunteers. We ask that you live here in the Coachella Valley, either part-time or full-time, to be a volunteer. Volunteers can be on campus when fully vaccinated. We will be holding in-school and after-school programs in person.”

For more information plead call 760-567-1830 or go to www.readwithmevolunteers.com

Image Sources

  • Afterschool-1-800×568-1: DeAnn Lubell
  • Afterschool-0-800×568-1: DeAnn Lubell