Faculty, staff asked to read with second graders

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San Antonio Youth Literacy is still accepting volunteers for weekly sessions.

By: Wally Perez

sac-ranger@alamo.edu

Illustration by Estefania B. Alonso

Faculty and staff at this college are reading to second graders in a Reading Buddy Program in partnership with San Antonio Youth Literacy for the first time.

The program allows volunteers to read with second graders throughout the city to make sure they are reading at the appropriate level and is designed to spark their interest in careers.

Chaye Peña, senior coordinator for student success in partnerships and extended services, is in charge of this college’s involvement.

“Our goal is to provide services to our immediate area,” Peña said in an interview Sept. 2. “The elementary schools in our area are largely at risk of not meeting educational and testing standards.”

So far this year, 15 faculty and staff volunteers are signed up for the program, but Peña is looking for more.

Ideally, volunteers will meet with their matched student once a week for an hour at the student’s school for about 16 sessions. Volunteers may spend more time every week, but they will read no more than one hour to each child. So a volunteer may have more than one student, Peña said.

The curriculum is set by the literacy organization, and all books are supplied.

Volunteers are required to submit an application online, attend a two-hour training session and agree to a background check. Once completed, volunteers are matched based on location and availability. The first session will be at the end of this month with the specific date to be decided.

Students at this college who are interested in participating should visit www.sayl.org for more information. The next orientation will be at 11:30-1 p.m. Sept. 18 in Room 218 of the nursing complex. Volunteers must bring a valid driver’s license.

If any students are interested in more volunteer opportunities like the “Reading Buddy” program, they are encouraged to visit the office of partnerships and extended services in Room 221 of Fletcher Administration Center or visit alamo.edu/sac/partnerships.

San Antonio Youth Literacy started the “Let’s Read!” program in 1999 to assist elementary students with literacy skills. The program has evolved into the reading buddy program with a focus on second grade students in Bexar County.

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