Greenwich United Way’s Reading Champions Celebrates 15th Graduation

The Greenwich United Way’s Reading Champions program completed its 15thyear of literacy support, helping improve reading fluency among Greenwich elementary students.

A committed partner to Greenwich Public Schools, Reading Champions is the largest volunteer-driven early literacy program in town.

In the 2022-2023 school year, more than 120 volunteers supported nearly 400 students with weekly one-on-one tutoring sessions.

All 11 Greenwich Public Schools Elementary Schools and three after-school programs including the Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich, BANC at New Lebanon School and the YWCA recognize significant reading progress achieved by students enrolled in the program.

“The Greenwich United Way is such an amazing community partner for Greenwich Public Schools and our students,” said Dr. Toni Jones, Superintendent for Greenwich Public Schools. “For more than a decade, Reading Champions has impacted the lives of so many with fantastic academic achievements and critical social interactions. We have all been living through challenging times for the past few years, and while the technology aspect of learning has increased, the return to in-person tutoring has a life-long positive effect on each participating student.”

“Reading Champions is part of a larger vision for the Greenwich United Way to help close the Early Education Achievement Gap, enabling all students to have greater opportunity to succeed, said David Rabin, CEO of the Greenwich United Way. “On the volunteer side, for those in Greenwich looking to give of their time and talent for worthy causes, Reading Champions provides rewarding, fulfilling work that directly impacts students’ long-term academic potential.”

In a typical school year, Reading Champions provides more than 15,000 moments of direct impact between volunteer tutors and elementary students. 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 program was founded in 2008 by retired Greenwich Public School teacher and guidance counselor Joan Lowe, who recognized the need for one-on-one literacy programs. With the support of the Greenwich United Way, Lowe developed the program that enables volunteers to teach students how to read and comprehend in ways best suited to their learning styles. Since then, Reading Champions has provided one-on-one and small group reading instruction and tutoring to thousands of Greenwich Public School elementary students at 11 schools and various after-school programs in town. 

Reading Champions thoroughly vets all candidates and provides them with the necessary skills and preparation to provide dedicated reading support, fostering literacy skills and a love of learning in students. Interested volunteers can contact Greenwich United Way program manager Cecile Meunier at [email protected] or 203-869-2221.