1. How long have you volunteered with The READ Center?

After retiring in 2015, I immediately contacted the Read Center and enrolled in the first available tutor training classes. I knew this was something I wanted to do for quite a while. I am very happy to be a part of this relevant and important organization.

2. What is your current volunteer role? (i.e. tutor in class, admin support, etc.) 

Because of the various program opportunities available, I began tutoring at St. Phillips Episcopal Church in the Bible literacy class. The students in this class are committed and quite engaged. When the pilot program at the Richmond City Justice Center began I eagerly volunteered for this opportunity. So, on Wednesdays, in the mornings I volunteer in the Bible literacy class, then in the afternoons I take that good energy to my one-to-one class at the Justice Center. I am delighted and grateful to work with the residents to help improve their reading skills.

3. What motivates you to work with READ

The focus and dedication demonstrated by the Read students keeps me motivated to continue being a tutor. Their sincere desire to improve their literacy makes me want to give them my very best.

4. Do you have a favorite memory of volunteering with READ

There have been several memorable experiences in both classes since I became a tutor. One of our students at St. Phillips gained enough confidence in his reading to do a scriptural presentation during the Sunday church service. This was inspiring to me and everyone in our class. Also, when one of our students at the Justice Center was released, he got a job in the culinary field doing what he loved. He told us that it was the confidence he gained while a student in our class that helped him apply for and obtain the job. Nearly each week I am uplifted and encouraged when a student has a breakthrough of new comprehension.

5. If you could encourage someone else to volunteer with READ, what would you say? 

So many adults can benefit from having better reading skills. The “harvest is plenty”, more workers are needed.

I believe as do other volunteers that being able to read and have better comprehension can indeed be life changing. Volunteering a few hours a week can make valuable difference in the lives of others. Imagine someone being able to read to their grandchildren for the first time, getting a drivers license, filling out an application or reading a bible. There are several ways to volunteer at the Read Center and it basically only takes sincerity and commitment. What you receive in return is immeasurable.

Everyone does deserve to be literate!