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Mar 26 2024

Volunteer Spotlight: Cathy

Volunteer Spotlight

Volunteer Cathy and Student Hazel

Student Hazel with volunteer Cathy

How long have you been volunteering with The Literacy Alliance (TLA)?

This is my second year volunteering with Project Reads

Why did you decide to volunteer at TLA?

After my retirement, I wanted to volunteer with TLA because I believe in the importance of literacy for all in our society. Literacy provides the foundation for full engagement in our society. I have witnessed the effect of illiteracy in our community and feel that TLA provides a vital role in offering excellent programs to address this issue.

When our children were young, I volunteered at the elementary school and worked one-on-one with children who struggled with reading and writing. It was a rewarding experience to see the progress and the pride of accomplishment of the student.

Project Reads is a program that meets my desire to enhance literacy in the community and work one-on-one with children who may be at risk of not achieving grade-level reading proficiency by the end of third grade. There has been a lot of press recently about the number of children who are not able to achieve this standard. I hope to make a difference so that the child with whom I work will move to fourth grade, ready to tackle subjects dependent on adequate reading skills.

What has been the best part of your experience so far?

I love the smiles of accomplishment. Watching a child use techniques to figure out a new word and then saying, “Wait, I think I can do this.” Also, it is heartwarming to see a child progress through second and third-grade word lists. It is wonderful to feel the excitement for reading.

Do you have a favorite volunteer role or task with our organization?

Right now, I am satisfied with the role of tutor for Project Reads. I hope to promote the work of TLA in the community.

What have you learned about yourself and others through volunteering at TLA?

The time spent volunteering has been refreshing. It is actually regenerating to contribute in a positive manner. Volunteering reminds me that there are many warm, empathetic people in our community who are willing to share time and talents with others.

What would you say if you were to encourage someone else to volunteer with our organization?

I have encouraged others to volunteer with Project Reads. The amount of time committed each week is dependent on the TLA activities, which are the best fit for each volunteer. Project Reads requires a commitment of about 1.5 hours a week after school. It is a fine way to interact with other adults who value the time spent with young children. It is not difficult; the atmosphere is relaxed. You will smile watching the interactions with the children.

What is one of your favorite books you would suggest others read?

I like to read a range of books, including mystery/crime genre by Anne Cleeves and Louise Penney. However, I spend most of my time reading non-fiction. I highly recommend Jon Meacham’s “The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels”. It is an excellent historical perspective of our country and the resilience to address problems. It is a hopeful book.

Do you know if there is anything else you’d like to include?

Each of the volunteer tutors for Project Reads cares deeply about the success of each child. It brings me pleasure to volunteer with this group of kindred spirits.


Volunteer Cathy and Student Hazel

Student Hazel with volunteer Cathy

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