This month Greenwich United Way released a video online that celebrates the decade-long success of its reading literacy program, Reading Champions. The video is under four minutes and highlights interviews with several Greenwich Public School students, their parents, Greenwich United Way volunteers, and After-School Program Director, Christina Nappi, at the Byram Archibald Neighborhood Center.
The video was partially underwritten by Angelique Adelina, CEO at Starr Films. “Working with Greenwich United Way CEO, David Rabin, and his staff on this project was a lot of fun, I was so impressed by everyone involved. The staff and volunteers are so passionate about the work they’re doing to help students improve in a subject that is vital to their education and future. I was truly touched by this program and the students that we were able to interview. As a mom and Greenwich resident, I’m proud to have been a part of this celebratory project,” said Adelina.
Champions Program Coordinator, Cecile Meunier is in the process of developing the program to expand into other subject areas beyond reading, beginning with Finance. In May, the Greenwich Junior United Way (GJrUW) teen volunteers piloted a Finance Champions program at the Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich. Meunier believes that this expansion will increase the existing demand for volunteers. “Our reading fluency program currently serves over 400 students and at some Greenwich elementary schools and after-school programs, students are put on wait lists. We always have a need for more volunteers and once our additional Champions programs launch, our need for volunteers will increase. I encourage Greenwich residents to participate by getting involved or referring friends because this opportunity is very unique and provides something for everyone. We have volunteer opportunities during school hours which is nice for retirees and after-school sessions perfect for High School students. We also have opportunities for Site Liaison volunteers that don’t require one-on-one time with students.”
Reading Champions is credited by Program Co-founder, Joan Lowe, as being one of the most rewarding volunteer opportunities in the Town of Greenwich. Volunteering requires as little as one hour per week and the Greenwich United Way provides training. There are several Site Liaison and Tutor volunteer opportunities available to begin in October 2018. An orientation for Reading Champions will be held at the Greenwich Women’s Club on Tuesday, October 2, from 10 to 12 noon.