I READ sees early impact in local schools - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

I READ sees early impact in local schools

Read 30 minutes a week to a student — that's what I READ has volunteers to do in Rockford Schools.

I READ set a goal for 80 percent of its students to pass certain criteria from alphabet recognition to sight words.

It reached that goal in five out of the seven categories.

But I READ organizers say more volunteers could help the scores continue to improve.

"I had a student last year who asked me if I could be her mentor, she didn't have one," I READ volunteer, Laura Edwards, said.

"And it broke my heat to have to tell her 'No, I'm sorry. I can't be your mentor.'"

Edwards is an I READ mentor at Swan Hillman Elementary. She, just like more than 200 hundred volunteers around the area, sit down with students for one hour per week and read.

But according to United Way members, there's a need for about 2,000 volunteers.  

And while it might be too early to tell exactly what impact I READ has, these mentors say they have no doubt they're making a difference.

"My sense is certainly that their progress is significant from where they were two years ago," I READ volunteer Wray Howard said.

For more information, you can call United Way of Rock River Valley at (815) 968-5400.

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