Read with Me Volunteers Make Sure Children are Gifted Books

When the state of California shut down in early December of 2020, it didn’t stop Read With Me Volunteers from going forward with its plans to gift children with books for the holiday break – they would just have to come up with a different strategy to ensure safety practices would be in place rather than their normal classroom presentation.

Working hand in hand with principals and teachers from Saul Martinez and Cathedral City Elementary Schools, arrangements were made by RWMV staff members to tag onto both schools’ normal twice-a- month drive-by-food and supplies distribution days.  It worked.  The smiles on the faces of the children in their parents’ cars said it all.  Mission accomplished.

“The kindergarten and first grade book distribution of more than 1500 books was a success,” said Elisa Gentry, Saul Martinez Principal.  “We can’t thank everyone at Read With Me Volunteers enough.  The students were absolutely thrilled.”

The other schools affiliated with the RWMV programs will be receiving and distributing books during Dr. Seuss week in late February and early March.

“We plan to give over 20,000 books out during the coming months to the children at our 14 Coachella Valley schools,” said RWMV founder and president, Roberta Klein.

The nonprofit Read with Me Volunteer Programs, an intergenerational intercultural program, began in 2004 by Roberta and Clay Klein. Their vision was to help improve the language skills of elementary school children who live in poverty and come from homes where no English is spoken. The Kleins felt they needed retired volunteers to help fulfill this dream. The call for volunteers was answered with the aid of local churches and organizations committing to sponsor individual schools. Currently, because of Covid-19 restrictions, RWMV needs more volunteers who are willing to teach via Zoom from computers for the balance of the school year.

For more information about Read With Me Volunteer Programs click here.




Photos of children receiving books in cars curtesy of Saul Martinez Elementary School.

Image Sources

  • Saul Martinez pupils receive books as gifts: Saul Martinez Elementary