Read With Me Volunteer Programs Honors Donors and Supporters
RANCHO MIRAGE —The Annual Major Donor Meeting and Brunch for Read With Me Volunteer Programs was held Sunday, November 20, 2022, at the Thunderbird Country Club in Rancho Mirage. Nearly 30 guests enjoyed the elegant setting, inspirational speeches, and delicious cuisine.
Read With Me Volunteer Programs mission is to assist local children from a low income, limited English speaking environment develop to their fullest potential by learning to read, comprehend and speak English while understanding that people care about them as individuals.
Master of Ceremonies and board member, Patrick Evans, welcomed the VIP guests with a passionate introduction about the organization and all it does to help underprivileged students throughout the Coachella Valley. After a gourmet lunch, President and Founder, Roberta Klein, took to the podium to give guests an update for the Annual Report.
“It has been a very challenging three years trying to keep our program moving forward despite the challenges of not being on campuses due to the pandemic,” said Klein. “In 2022, we were able to Zoom for part of the time and were able to tutor about 2000 students in 15 schools.”
Read With Me worked with the CVUSD school district and Incline Elementary school for several years to determine the effectiveness of its tutoring methods. The results were astounding.
“We measured the reading progress of students who worked with a volunteer verses the rest of the students in that grade level. Students with a volunteer tutor made 50% more progress than the rest of the children. We spent $451,000 last fiscal year to tutor 2000 students, which represents a cost of $225 per student to greatly increase their language skills.”
This also represents a cost of $360,000 to run the program and recruit, train, and transport volunteers to the more remote schools. That is an average of $1800 per volunteer to pay support staff, who keep records according to the demands of being a public charity. Read With Me is now working in partnership with 18 schools. There are 399 registered volunteers, each assigned to a specific school with an anticipation of 600 volunteers by the end of February. The schools require the volunteers to reregister every year.
“We provide books for children to take home to share with their family and friends,” said Klein. “That means 30,000 books for approximately 10,000 children each year. If we find the funding, we will be increasing the numbers for the children in our two newest schools: Aqua Caliente in Cathedral City and John Kennedy in Indio. This means another 1200 students.”
For more information about the Read With Me Volunteer Programs please visit www.readwithmevolunteers.com.
Photo caption above: Left to Right: Dr. Luis Valentino, Roberta Klein, Jeannie Morris, and Patrick Evans
- Leaders, donors and supporters: DeAnn Lubell