Volunteering

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...

READ Center Tutor Spotlight

How long have you volunteered with The READ Center? I started volunteering March 2016 so over 2 1/2 years. What is your current volunteer role? Tutor in class. What motivates you to work with READ? Being able to read is such an important part of my life, I cannot imagine not having that skill so I want to help others learn to read. Do you have a favorite memory of volunteering with READ? At the end of my first class, the group I had been working with...

Shh (It’s a Secret)

Class field trip to the Secret Sandwich Society By Don Wilms, retired educator and READ Center teacher How do you get to know your way around?  Explore, of course.  My students knew how to get from their homes to class, but couldn’t name streets or intersections or tell me how many blocks to their bus stop.  I figured I could at least solve this problem for the area surrounding the Franklin Library, where my classes are held. During our summer semester I floated...

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...

“We must always remember that peace is a fragile thing that needs constant vigilance.”

Memorial Day was first widely observed in May 1868. The celebration commemorated the sacrifices of the Civil War and the proclamation was made by General John A Logan. Following the proclamation, participants decorated graves of more than 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers. In years since World War 1, the day has become a celebration of honor for those who died in all America’s wars, as well as those who are Veterans and current members of the US military. In 1971, Memorial Day...
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...

READ Center Volunteers are THE BEST!

There are times when words seem inadequate to express the gratitude felt to those who has given so much. This is one of those times. The staff and students of The READ Center humbly and gratefully recognize and thank past and present volunteers – board members,  tutors, testers, office volunteers and more. You have helped to build an organization that changes lives through literacy. Thank you for all you done and for all you continue to do. Happy National Volunteer Month to all who...

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...