The people who volunteer as Read Houston Read mentors do so for a variety of reasons. Some do it because they simply love teaching. Some do it because they have wonderful memories of enjoying books as young people and want to give that experience to other children. For Susan Imre, the reason is a bit more personal. Her adult son is a teacher at Wheatley High School, and she was inspired by the challenges he faces each day with students who struggle in the classroom.
“My son is a first-year teacher, and one of the things that struck him is the lack of literacy skills, and not just in the students for whom English is not their first language,” explained Imre. “Some of the ninth- and tenth-graders are reading far below their grade level.”
Hearing first-hand how difficult it was to teach complex concepts to students who were still mastering basic comprehension skills made Imre want to get involved, so she chose to volunteer at Pugh ES because it is one of the campuses that feeds into Wheatley. That way, she could help both today’s first-grade students and her son as well, who might see them one day sitting in his classroom.
“Reading has been a passion for me ever since I was a little girl,” said Imre, “and I firmly believe that starting in elementary school is the right thing to do. It’s been an amazing experience, and I have really, really loved doing it. It’s very uplifting, and I’ve definitely seen progress in the two little girls since I started, even in the short time I’ve been working with them. That’s why I think this is such a tremendous program.”
Volunteers are still needed, so if you’d like to be a mentor, please visit the Read Houston Read website.