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Reading Partners Baltimore Inspires Struggling Readers

This January, Reading Partners is sharing stories of mentorship from community volunteers as it kicks off "Resolutions for Reading" to support struggling readers. (Reading Partners)
This January, Reading Partners is sharing stories of mentorship from community volunteers as it kicks off "Resolutions for Reading" to support struggling readers. (Reading Partners)
January 16, 2018

BALTIMORE – With the new year underway, it's not too late to make or reboot those resolutions to get fit or do more traveling, and Reading Partners Baltimore is calling on people to support the vital skill of literacy with a resolution for reading.

Each year, National Mentoring Month celebrates the power of mentoring relationships and calls for more people to play a supportive role in the lives of children.

Jeffrey Zwillenberg, executive director of Reading Partners Baltimore, says he wants to further harness that power to help make a lasting impact in a child's life.

"This moment in January, focus on mentorship," he suggests. "We really want to encourage people to kind of make that commitment, for as little as one hour a week. For the rest of this school year, an adult can have an opportunity to truly transform a child's life through the power of reading."

In Baltimore alone, more than 200 students at 18 elementary schools are waiting to be matched with tutors. Zwillenberg is asking people to sign up to become a volunteer with Reading Partners where they will then work one-on-one with struggling readers.

Reading Partners empowers students to succeed in reading and in life. Zwillenberg says the program is determined to serve 900 students, twice a week, throughout the year and volunteers are needed throughout the state.

"It happens to be the case that in many of our jurisdictions and counties and the state, while we have some that are incredibly successful and have a tremendous amount of resources and opportunity, that's not widespread throughout the state," he explains. "And those are pockets where we need to really double down and get more resources more attention."

Reading Partners volunteers use an easy-to-follow, individualized lesson plan each week, in order to meet students at their level and help them make the critical transition from learning to read to reading to learn.

Trimmel Gomes, Public News Service - MD