Read with Me Volunteer Programs Offers Exciting 2021-2022 Volunteer Opportunities

Read With Me Volunteer Programs began in 2004 by Roberta and Clay Klein when they found out from the Coachella Valley Unified 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.

Volunteers are asked to commit two to three hours a week.  They can either tutor remotely by Zoom or, if vaccinated, go to one school on the day of the week that is most convenient.  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.

“If they learn to love reading, not only does it help them in school by reading at grade level by third grade, and then in high school and then maybe college, they can enjoy reading for the entire life and gain so much,” said Sandy Giovannitti, volunteer and retired teacher.

In addition to Zoom remote and in-class tutoring, Read With Me Volunteer Programs sponsors book giveaways at all schools, at least twice a year, to all 9000 students participating in its programs.  The children are always thrilled to select and receive 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 have in-school and after-school programs, some with zoom, others in person. We hope to be on campus in the fall and will offer busing from some locations. All of this is subject to change.”

For more information or to obtain an application about this rewarding volunteer opportunity, please click here or call 760-567-1830



Image Sources

  • Read with Me volunteer: DeAnn Lubell