Volunteer with READ

The READ Center Helps Adults Map a Path to Literacy

Last week, READ Center teacher Janet led a discussion about the famous Captain John Smith. After reading Smith’s biography in an easy-to-read information book that included, fun facts, trivia, and activities. The class then began a short lesson on the history of the first permanent English settlement in the New World, Jamestown, Virginia. In addition to learning about Jamestown and John Smith, READ students also had a lesson on world geography. With a world map in front of them, they navigated...

America Has A Major Financial Literacy Problem – even for those who read well

Did you know? 2/3 of American adults can’t pass a basic financial literacy test. 44% of Americans don’t have enough cash to cover a $400 emergency. 43% of student loan borrowers are not making payments. 38% of U.S. households have credit card debt. On average, they owe $16,048. 33% of American adults have $0 saved for retirement. These statistics are from a recent Forbes article on how badly America is failing at financial literacy. They are for all Americans not just for those who have literacy problems....

READ Center Director Wins State Literacy Award

READ Center Executive Director Karen La Forge was named the winner of the Virginia Literacy Foundation’s 2018 Nancy Jiranek Award. The Virginia Literacy Foundation, which provides funding and technical support to private volunteer literacy organizations throughout the state, issues this award annually to individuals who exemplify the best in nonprofit management. “It is an honor to be recognized by the Virginia Literacy Foundation with the Nancy Jiranek Award,” said La Forge. “It is a privilege to be part of The READ...

READ Center Tutor Spotlight

About 130 volunteer adult literacy volunteer tutors work in READ Center classrooms and as one-to-one tutors each year. We are grateful for the time and caring they give to READ students.  To recognize the importance and impact of  our tutors, The READ Center has started the “Tutor Spotlight” which shares the experiences of a READ Center tutor.  Enjoy learning about why Martha became an adult literacy tutor with The READ Center and what she has learned. Volunteer tutors attend an orientation, have an opportunity to...

How Literacy Rates Have Improved Since 1776

Today, 1 in 6 adults — approximately 35 million Americans — possess reading skills below the level of a fourth-grader. Studies show that adult literacy rates have not improved over the past 25 years, but many believe that this is still a marked improvement from where we were before the creation of the public school system. There’s a common misconception that Americans were illiterate before the 1830s. But in reality, that’s not quite true. In fact, the answer to...

READ Center student writing

READ Center Widens the World for Adults – A Message from Our Founder, Jean Proffitt

What would your world be like if you could not read? It would be very small, very stressful, and very sad. In 1977, I discovered that 23 million American and 52,000 Richmond-area adults couldn’t read. I was overwhelmed and couldn’t believe it. I spent 38 years of my professional life at the University of Richmond. I didn’t know anyone who couldn’t read — at least, I didn’t think I did. I spent the next decade reading, researching, and discovering all I could...

Diversity & Inclusion at READ

READ Educators Participate in Diversity & Inclusion Training

The READ Center recently collaborated with the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities (VCIC) to provide a Diversity and Inclusion training for tutors and teachers. At The READ Center, we pride ourselves on providing an inclusive environment for our students to learn and volunteers to tutor. When groups of people from different backgrounds come together, as they often do at READ, it’s an opportunity for all to learn, grow, and respect one another, but sometimes challenges arise. The training asked each participant to...

The Tutor Space Facebook Group

International Volunteer Day: A Celebration

December 5th is recognized by the United Nations as International Volunteer Day. To celebrate, we’re giving all of our current and past tutors a gift: a Facebook group! Without our volunteer tutors, READ could not exist. If you’re a soon to be tutor who just joined us for Orientation, we celebrate you. If you’re a tutor that has been volunteering with us for several years, we celebrate you. If you’re a former tutor that has moved on to other great...

READ Center tutor and student

Just Two Hours a Week Can Change a Life

A glimpse of the impact volunteer tutors have on our students’ lives… Success stories from our classes “Alicia’s goals were to improve her reading, enhance her writing, increase her word knowledge, and possibly enroll in a college course. Since coming to class, she reports that she feels better about her reading ability. She stated she is no longer uncomfortable presenting information to her work colleagues. She is working on enrolling in her first college class this fall.” “Allan wanted to read to his...

Love to read. Pass it on by becoming a tutor.

“Volunteers are the only human beings on the face of the earth who reflect this nation’s compassion, unselfish caring, patience, and just plain loving one another.” ~Erma Bombeck I love to read. It’s why joined The READ Center. I cannot imagine what my life would have been, would be, if I could not read. I would certainly not have graduated from JMU (Go Dukes!) or be the executive director for The READ Center. My entire life would be different. How about you? Do...