Greenwich United Way Reading Champions Hosts Literacy Summit and Volunteer Workshop

Phyllis Behlin with Reading Champions. file photo

The Greenwich United Way hosted the Reading Champions Summit & Volunteer Workshop on Tuesday at Greenwich Town Hall for the more than 120 Reading Champions volunteers, potential volunteers and the public.

“Over the years our literacy support program has grown in importance and size and is now active in all 11 Greenwich Elementary Public Schools and four after-school programs,” said David Rabin, President and CEO of the Greenwich United Way.

Rabin said program expansion is planned to reach the unmet needs of even more students.

The growing number of trained volunteers provides support through one-on-one weekly sessions that students benefit from throughout the school year. Reading Champions helps develops the skill necessary for emerging readers to succeed and inspires greater confidence.”

Literacy expert Joan Kelley, Ed. M from Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE), lead the summit, outlining insights about three types of skills necessary to enhance early literacy, how the changing demands of texts can make reading a challenge in the later years, and why early specific and targeted skill support can make a significant difference in both reading success and reading motivation.

Attendees heard about the latest research on how children learn to read and gain a clear understanding of how and why parents and educators need to work together to truly impact reading outcomes.

Following the presentation, Reading Champions volunteer tutors ran a workshop, dividing in groups to discuss best practices in meeting the needs of their grade-level students.

Reading Champions has a core of over 120 volunteers who deserve recognition for their contributions. They are the real heroes that change their world, one student and one weekly reading session at a time. The program provides more than 15,000 moments of direct impact between volunteer tutors and elementary students every year. The results are far reaching, including motivating greater reading fluency and inspiring academic confidence to ultimately impact greater student success in the classroom for years to come.

The Greenwich United Way (GUW) shares a name with approximately 1,200 other similar organizations across the nation, although the Greenwich, Connecticut division is a privately incorporated, locally governed, nonprofit agency. As a volunteer-driven organization, the Greenwich United Way exists to help identify and address the health, educational and self-sufficiency needs specific to its local community and to create and affect meaningful, lasting solutions. Through various fundraising efforts and on-going research, the organization is able to directly grant the funds necessary to accomplish this goal. The Greenwich United Way also invests in and conducts collaborative efforts to address broad-based community needs with partnering nonprofit agencies. For more information, visit https://greenwichunitedway.org, or follow us on Instagram and Facebook.