This all-volunteer program in Sedona, Arizona, could well be a model for the nation. Since its beginnings in 1988 at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, several hundred Sedona primary students have been helped, with some of them making the honor roll in later years. Second and third graders from West Sedona and Big Park Schools, who need extra help, get one-on-one tutoring in reading and math. The Literacy Center provides training, teaching materials, on-going guidance and support to the volunteer tutors. Being a tutor is very satisfying. The tutor contributes something truly important in the life of a child – HELPING A CHILD LEARN TO READ.
The program was begun to provide one-on-one help to school children who were lagging behind their classmates. Since that time, we have worked with several hundred students, mostly 2nd and 3rd graders, first from the old Brewer Road school, and now from both West Sedona and Big Park schools. We meet with the students twice a week (Monday and Wednesday at Big Park, Tuesday and Thursday for West Sedona) immediately after school to work on reading, writing and arithmetic. Our work with the students usually begins around the first week of October and runs until the end of March. Each volunteer is assigned a student. During the twice weekly sessions, they work on reading, writing and arithmetic areas that need emphasis. The time commitment for a regular volunteer is about 4 hours per week – not much considering the difference it can make. We’ve seen some of our former students go on to make the honor role in later grades. And we almost always see positive things happen.