Reading Champions Shortage: Do You Have One Hour a Week to Spare?

At this week’s meeting of the Greenwich Youth Services Council, Jenny Byxbee said the Reading Champions program has a critical need for volunteers.

Byxbee said she had received additional requests for Reading Champions volunteers from the Greenwich Boys and Girls Club, two public schools and the YMCA, and that there is a waiting list at BANC.

Byxbee said that if anyone is able to give an hour a week to be a Reading Champion, they will be provided training. Essentially, the hour entails working with 3 children, each for 20 minutes.

“Please, we can’t meet the capacity with the current volunteers. We have over 100 Reading Champions volunteers right now serving well over 300 children. But, it kills me to hear there’s a wait list.” – Jenny Byxbee, Greenwich Youth Services Coordinator

“It’s not the money that’s the barrier here. It’s not the dollars for insurance. It’s the volunteer manpower,” Byxbee said, adding that a background check is run on each volunteer.

Tutors are trained to work with either kindergarteners, grades 1-5, or in the after school program one hour a week. The tutors work in all eleven elementary schools and at three after-school sites in Town. The program differs from may volunteer reading programs in that Reading Champions volunteers follow a specific curriculum designed by the Literacy Specialists in Greenwich Schools. The program isn’t to read to the children, but to build their fluency skills.

Byxbee said the application an be downloaded and interested volunteers should contact her at [email protected]

More information is available on Reading Champions on the United Way website.

Download the Reading Champions Tutor Application, save it to your computer, and return the completed application via email to [email protected] or via regular mail to:
United Way of Greenwich
1 Lafayette Court
Greenwich, CT 06830