HISD on Monday hosted an appreciation breakfast and ceremony at the Children’s Museum of Houston to recognize the efforts of the district’s 670 Read Houston Read volunteers, who are committed to helping HISD students improve their literacy skills.
Two volunteers for Piney Point Elementary, Cathy Geis and Cynthia Bryant, were named Read Houston Read Volunteers of the Year. Geis was recognized as the in-person Volunteer of the Year, and Bryant was named online Volunteer of the Year.
Through Read Houston Read, volunteers read to first- and second-graders at least once per week throughout the school year – either through TutorMate online or in person at a school. The program was launched as part of Literacy by 3, which aims to have all students reading on grade level by the third grade. To date, over 920 students have participated.
In a short video feature before accepting her award, online volunteer Bryant was able to see her student for the first time. Tears welled up as she approached the podium to speak.
“When you’re with a student for a year, it’s like adopting a child. I had never met her before so being able to see her for the first time really made me emotional,” Bryant said.
In-person volunteer Weis, who along with Bryant said she plans to volunteer again next year, said her goal is impart a love of reading to the children.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity. I like to read, and I love to help them develop that same enthusiasm and begin to realize how important reading is – that if they can read, that’s the key to life and having hours and hours of enjoyment.”
To sign up as a volunteer or learn more about Read Houston Read, go to HoustonISD.org/ReadHoustonRead.