Volunteers needed to read with first-graders for 30 to 60 minutes per week
It’s National Volunteer Week, and HISD would like to recognize and encourage the many people who volunteer their time with the district. Volunteers are an integral part of the HISD family who share the common goal of wanting to help students succeed.
“I heard about the volunteer program on TV and thought, ‘I can get out of the house and do something worthwhile,’” said Loretha Fore, a retired teacher who is now an HISD volunteer at Southmayd Elementary School. “We have so much to give, especially retired people. We’re going out to lunch and getting together with friends, but this is something we can all do to help students and give back to our communities. You are giving, but also receiving.”
Annually, nearly 31,000 community members apply to volunteer in HISD schools through Volunteers in Public Schools (VIPS). With the launch of even more opportunities, including the district’s Read Houston Read volunteer program, that number is expected to grow.
Representatives from dozens of local businesses gathered Friday, Jan. 9 to learn how their companies could help Houston ISD first-graders learn how to read. It only takes 30 minutes per week, and volunteers can make a difference without ever leaving their desk.
Neil Bush, chairman of the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation and a Read Houston Read volunteer, said he plays games, including an educational version of Tic-Tac-Toe, with his assigned student, Savannah. They also go through digital flash cards and read a book each session. Continue reading →
If you’re still deciding on a New Year’s resolution, look no further because we have a great one for you that will change a child’s life.
You can help a first-grader learn to read by spending at least 30 minutes reading to a child per week as part of HISD’s Read Houston Read program. Volunteers can become a Read Houston Read mentor, in person or over the Internet, by reading to a child at their school or by logging onto the web. Volunteers also listen to the child read, help the child learn new words, and play fun games to reinforce what he/she has learned.
Houston is in a literacy crisis, and it will take everyone – schools, families, communities — to help provide this basic skill that can make the difference between lifelong learning and achievement or frustration and failure.
For a listing and map of participating schools, click here.
The ELA secondary team was recognized by Superintendent Grier at the December Central office meeting. (Houston Independent School District)
Community members, parents, and former HISD students have signed up to read to a first-grader through HISD’s Read Houston Read campaign. Now HISD employees are also volunteering to read to a student, and one central office department is leading the charge. Continue reading →
It’s the time of year to give back, and as part of the national “Giving Tuesday” movement, HISD is asking Houstonians to sign up for Read Houston Read and give a struggling student some of their time—listening, caring, and sharing the joy of reading.
This year, Giving Tuesday, a national day of giving that encourages Americans to donate to a charitable organization, falls on Tuesday, Dec. 2. HISD is encouraging folks to spend a few moments of their time that day signing up to be a volunteer at www.readhoustonread.com. As part of the program, volunteers spend half an hour to an hour each week—either in person or virtually—mentoring a child and listening to them read aloud.
HISD is encouraging local businesses and corporations, as well as their central office employees, to sign up for the program. Many, like HISD Senior Executive Secretary Fatima Barnett, have already started mentoring students. Continue reading →
As a mother, HISD senior executive secretary Fatima Barnett remembers trips to the library and reading with her own children, who are now young adults and avid readers. That’s why she jumped at the chance to read to children at Woodson K-8 as part of the district’s Read Houston Read campaign.
“Since we as employees are advocates for education, this should be an extension of all that we encompass,” said Barnett. “Volunteering for Read Houston Read is a great way to show our commitment.”
Barnett is just one of the many volunteers who are signing up to read to district first-graders through the program. By giving a child a half-hour to an hour of reading time, volunteers can encourage a lifetime love of literature. Continue reading →
“I come once a week, every Monday, to read to two special little boys,” said Kimberly Thompson, who volunteers at Sutton ES. “When someone from the outside comes in and reads to these children, they just feel special. When you feel special, you are more open to every experience that comes your way.” Continue reading →
“They’re here today to prepare the Flip Kits that are actually going to be used in the schools,” said Kallie Benes with the Children’s Museum of Houston. “They are cutting ribbons, laminating supply sheets, taping the materials into the supply kit, putting books into the each kit, and putting all the materials into a Kit bag.” Continue reading →