United Way of Wabash Valley looking for volunteers to read aloud in early childhood education program

Local News

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — United Way of the Wabash Valley announced Wednesday it is partnering with the Vigo County School Corporation to expand its current literacy focus with a new program, “Reading Neighbors”.

The program will invite community members to read aloud to first and second grade students with the goal of improving reading skills. The program, according to a news release, will be using a specific collection of books designed to help children strengthen self-awareness, decision-making and interpersonal skills.

The program has been partially funded by the corporation’s Student Learning Recovery Grant and Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds, the release said.

The pilot program of “Reading Neighbors” will start out in over 110 classrooms. The program will launch in January and continue until the end of the school year, with volunteers coming in to read to the class once a month.

United Way of the Wabash Valley is asking for volunteer readers for the program. Volunteers will will be trained in an orientation session and story discussion guides to assist in starting conversations with students about the themes of the stories. Volunteers will visit their assigned classroom for a total of five 30-minute sessions throughout the semester.

In addition to providing volunteer adult readers, “Reading Neighbors” will also give book collections to all participating teachers. Some of the titles in the 20 book collection include:
• “The Good Egg” by Jory John
• “When Sophie Gets Angry” by Molly Bang
• “One Drop of Kindness” by Jeff Kubiak
• “We’re All Wonders” by RJ Palacio
• “A Chair for My Mother” by Vera B. Williams

“Reading aloud to children is one of the most important activities for building their own success in
reading. Reading aloud expands students’ vocabulary and improves communication and listening skills,” Dorothy Chambers, Community Impact staff member, said. “It boosts students’ curiosity, imagination and memory. Most importantly, it encourages students to become passionate and lifelong readers.”

Interested volunteers can contact Dorothy Chambers at United Way of the Wabash Valley at (812) 235-6287 or at dchambers@uwwv.org.

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