A couple months ago, I became involved with ReadUP, a collaborative tutoring effort between United Way of Central Indiana (3901 N. Meridian Street) and local school districts. After filling out the application and passing a background check, I picked a school convenient to me, attended a short training session and got to tutoring.
Tutors are assigned two children to work with, one from fourth grade and one from fifth. What surprised and entertained me the most was the inflection with which my tutees read. I experienced some real adventure in books like Captain Underpants and the Invasion of the Incredibly Naughty Cafeteria Ladies from Outer Space (and the Subsequent Assault of the Equally Evil Lunchroom Zombie Nerds) (yes, seriously) and Bridge to Terabithia. Not bad for just over an hour a week.
ReadUP’s research indicates that fourth grade is a turning point in kids’ reading skills. It’s the time when students transition from learning to read to reading to learn. After a year of working with a tutor, it is ReadUP’s goal that the tutee’s reading level come up one grade level. ReadUP is in great need of tutors throughout their target schools; information about participating schools is available at www.ReadUPindy.org.
Persons interested in donating to or tutoring with the ReadUP program are asked to contact Julie Henson, the Americorps Volunteer Coordinator for ReadUP, at 317-925-READ or firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more about United Way’s programs at www.uwci.org.