Tag Archives: Read Houston Read

Volunteer to change a child’s life through reading

Looking for a way to help HISD’s students? The district is resuming its popular “Read Houston Read” and “Real Men Read” programs this year. HISD recognizes the need to provide ongoing literacy support to students and is once again asking the community for volunteers to read to children.

Read Houston Read volunteers will work with the same student one hour each week for an entire year, either in person or virtually on the Microsoft TEAMS platform.

Houston Real Men Read is a mentoring program in which men volunteer at least one hour a month to read to students in third grade.

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Read Houston Read volunteers needed for 2017-2018 school year 

HISD’s Read Houston Read program will soon kick off its fourth school year, and volunteers are needed once a week to read to a first-grade student — either in person or online.

The goal of Read Houston Read is to instill a love of reading in children, while giving Houstonians an opportunity to give back to their community. The program is part of the district’s Literacy by 3 movement, which aims to have all students reading at or above grade level by the end of third grade.

If you have friends or family who might be interested in volunteering, encourage them to sign up at this link. All volunteers are required to pass a background check each year and attend a training session, which is online. From there, volunteers can pick a participating school and schedule weekly sessions with a student.

Optional Experienced Volunteer Refresher Trainings will be held on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017. Please click here to sign up for the 1:30-2:30 p.m. session or the 3-4 p.m. session. Volunteers will receive an email as soon as campus volunteer opportunities are available, which should be the beginning of October.

HISD wins third national Magna Award for Literacy By 3 efforts

The Houston Independent School District this week received its third national Magna Award, an honor designed to recognize school districts and their leaders for taking bold, innovative steps to improve the lives of students and their communities.

The district received the first-place Magna Award for its Literacy By 3 program, which strives to have all students reading and writing fluently by the end of third grade. HISD is one of five first-place winners in the over 20,000 enrollment category. Continue reading

Barbara and Neil Bush visit Walnut Bend ES to kick off ‘National Read Aloud Month’

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March is National Read Aloud Month, and Barbara Bush and her son Neil were at Walnut Bend Elementary School on March 2, 2016, to bring attention to the annual observance. The Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation has joined forces with HISD and 14 other Houston literacy organizations to increase awareness of the importance of reading to children so that they can learn, grow, and succeed.

“It’s so great to see people coming together around literacy,” said Neil Bush. “We shamelessly use my mother to draw attention to the importance of literacy.”

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Show your appreciation on national ‘Thank Your Mentor Day’


On Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016, people of all ages will take time out of their busy schedules to show their appreciation during national “Thank Your Mentor Day.” The day, which occurs during National Mentoring Month, is reserved for giving thanks to all of the good Samaritans who provide guidance, advice, and encouragement to young people.

Many HISD students, both present and former, have been affected by one special person who gave of their time to improve the lives of others. Whether it was a teacher, principal, parent, or volunteer, if you are a current or former student whose life was changed for the better thanks to a mentor, share your story with us.

Leave a comment below, send us a tweet @HoustonISD, or go to our Facebook page and send a special shout-out to the person who helped shape your life. Use the hashtag #ThankYourMentor.

If you are looking to become a mentor to a student in HISD, please learn more about our Read Houston Read program. As a Read Houston Read volunteer, you can spend one hour a week, in person or online, reading and being read to by a beginning reader. If you are interested in other mentoring opportunities, contact the Volunteer in Public Schools (VIPS) department at 713-556-7020.

You’ve given thanks, now give back on ‘Giving Tuesday’

Would you like to volunteer for Read Houston Read?

Sign up for Read Houston Read by clicking here. Show your support by downloading the attached badge and add it to your Facebook page or share it on Twitter.

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The turkey has been eaten, the pies are gone, and the day set aside for American families to give thanks for the blessings in their lives is over. Now it’s time to give back. “Giving Tuesday” on Dec. 1 is an annual global day for giving back to the community through service, as well as celebrating generosity in all its forms.

The idea is simple: Give of your time and/or your money and inspire others to do the same by telling them about it. Use the hashtag #GivingTuesday on social media to let everyone know how you are helping to make change.

Consider giving to the Houston ISD Foundation to help build a future generation of educated adults who are prepared to serve as tomorrow’s leaders.

HISD’s Read Houston Read volunteer program is another great way to give back to your community. Read to a first-grader and give them a gift that grows exponentially in value — the love of reading. Read Houston Read is part of HISD’s Literacy by 3 movement, which calls for every child to be reading on or above grade level by the time they leave the third grade.

Sign up for up to an hour each week, either in person or virtually, to mentor a child by reading to them and listening to them read aloud. Then use #GivingTuesday on Twitter or download this badge on Facebook to tell everyone about your service.

If you can’t make the weekly commitment, there are plenty of other ways to volunteer in HISD. Register through VIPS and discover campus-based opportunities to get involved.

Volunteering duo can’t wait for Read Houston Read to start back up again

In this week’s I Am HISD, which features district students, graduates, employees, and other team members, returning volunteer Sharon Plummer discusses how she and her husband first discovered the Read Houston Read program, why they both immediately signed up to participate, and why they can’t wait for this year’s first mentoring sessions to begin.

Sharon Plummer & Chandler Davidson

Sharon Plummer & Chandler Davidson

I understand you and your husband, Chandler Davidson, both volunteer as reading mentors at Burnet Elementary School through Read Houston Read. How did that arrangement come about?

We had actually been looking for an opportunity to read to elementary students for quite some time. Maybe even a couple of years. We had made several inquiries with various organizations, but just could not find a good fit. Then I happened to see this. And I thought, “Oh, my gosh, this is it!”

What is it about reading to young children than appeals to you? Continue reading

Gridiron legends kick off National Literacy Month for Bush Foundation

Former Houston Oiler quarterback Dan Pastorini was accustomed to passing a football on the field. Now, he passes on knowledge and a love of reading by volunteering to read to a child. Pastorini and gridiron legend Charles Alexander joined The Barbara Bush Literacy Foundation, Lone Star Sports and Entertainment, and Phillips 66 at Walnut Bend Elementary School on Aug. 31 to help kick-off National Literacy Month.

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Every September, this national literacy initiative aims to raise awareness of the nation’s literacy crisis. Studies show that children who do not read proficiently by the end of third grade are four times more likely to leave school without a diploma than proficient readers. That’s why volunteers are so vital to helping kids comprehend the power of being able to read. Continue reading

Students meet their virtual Read Houston Read mentors in person

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All year long, caring volunteers from across Houston have been helping HISD students read by simply going online. But on May 29, students at Paige Elementary School got to meet their mentors in the flesh.

TutorMate is a web tool that allows mentors to tutor students via the internet. It was incorporated into HISD’s Read Houston Read program as a part of its Literacy By 3 initiative, which aims to have every child reading well by the end of Grade 3.

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