Mark Rud, AmeriCorps Read2Me Program Specialist, at the Tacoma Community House, explained what the Read2Me program is: “It’s a one on one tutoring program partnered with the Tacoma public schools and is operated by the Tacoma Community House. Volunteer tutors are paired with a first, second, or third grade student struggling with reading. The volunteer tutors meet with a child once a week for 45 minutes.
Unlike other programs we meet during the day. We work one on one to get some extra reading help; and it’s not just reading there are some activities and games as well. There are critical thinking activities that go along with it and it’s monitored by the site coordinator.
It takes place at all the schools that we operate at. We’ve been at: McCarver and Roosevelt Elementary Schools and this month we are expanding to Mann Elementary and Manitou Park Elementary in Tacoma.”
Mark discussed the history of the Read2Me Program, “It’s been around since 1988 with various names. It started as being called “SMART” then after awhile changed to “Werlin.” They joined with the Pierce County Reading Foundation who then changed it to “Read2Me” throughout 1988 to 2008 it was an independent organization.
Read2Me is at the Tacoma Community House located at: 1314 S. L Street Tacoma, WA 98405.
Tacoma Community House is a non-profit agency involved in a number of things, primarily English as a second language, adult basic education (A.B.E.) and programs for immigration services, client advocacy, employment services, as well as a language bank.
The agency just celebrated its 103rd anniversary last week and we adopted the Read2Me Program at the beginning of the 2011- 2012 school year.”
Mark commented on the Read2Me Program: “I think it’s one of the more successful programs in Tacoma. It’s been around for over 23 years. Some tutors have been around since we began, which I think speaks a lot to the quality of service we provide to the school. It’s a unique program that operates during the school day and is fully partnered with the School District.”
Mark mentioned the best thing about the Read2Me Program, “From my experience tutoring, the wide range of activities that can happen during a tutoring session. We just don’t have books, as I said activities and games so that we can work with the student at their level. Some people learn differently and we have options to learn a lesson a different way.”
When asked what many people may not know about the Read2Me Program, Mark replied, “It has hoped over 8500 Tacoma Public School students since it began.”
Mark stated the qualities that he is looking for in a volunteer tutor, “I would recommend someone who likes to read and someone who likes working with children, of course someone who is willing to commit the remainder of the school year. We need that commitment for that weekly session otherwise the kids will get bummed out. You don’t have to be a literacy expert to be a tutor. We have orientation sessions where the programming is explained and site coordinator is there during tutor sessions if there are issues and questions that may come up.”
For more information on the Read2Me Program or the Tacoma Community House, please call: 253 383-3951 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
By: Carly Calabrese, staff for Tacoma.com