Just Do Good Campaign: Reading to Children

Posted on: November 13, 2017 by in Gorilla Blog
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Reading to Kids is a grassroots and #JustDoGood friendly organization founded by three UCLA graduates. Reading to Kids began in 1999 with a small group of volunteers, teachers, and administrators at Gratts Elementary School who designed an interactive and fun extra-curricular Saturday program that emphasized learning and reading.  From the first reading club at Gratts, which involved just 20 children and eight volunteers, Reading to Kids has expanded to eight Los Angeles area elementary schools, and now serves 800 to 1,300 children monthly.

10257213_10151996164657330_4708058896822409874_oThe reading clubs are conducted with the help of 300 to 500 volunteers each month.  From May 1999 through October 2017, a total of 20,743 volunteers have donated their time on reading club Saturdays, collectively accumulating more than 192,000 volunteer hours.  As of October 14, 2017, we have donated 29,036 hardcover books to our partner libraries, given 159,804 prize books to participating children, and given more than 45,000 books to their parents and teachers.

On the second Saturday of every month, we organize volunteer-led reading clubs at our eight partner elementary schools — Alta Loma, Esperanza, Gratts, Los Angeles, MacArthur Park, Magnolia, Politi, and White.  The reading clubs are conducted in collaboration with the teachers and principals of each school.
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During the monthly reading clubs, pairs of volunteers read aloud teacher-selected books to small groups of children.  The reading club format fosters a supportive atmosphere, in which children are encouraged to take an active interest in the story and reading in general, without the pressure of a formal school environment.

While their children are participating in the reading clubs, parents are invited to attend teacher-led training sessions that include topics such as the importance of reading and education, preparing for college, local resources for families, practicing communication skills through arts and crafts, and child development.  We provide each attending parent a paperback “prize book” to take home to help build their home libraries, and every teacher who assists at the reading clubs is given five paperback prize books each month to help build their classroom libraries.

1897710_10151980231692330_4744062502523967590_n95.44% of the children we serve are economically disadvantaged and 65.5% are English Language Learners. The goal of Reading to Kids’ is to inspire children with a love of reading, create opportunities for reading at home by giving paperback prize books to participating children and parents, increase the library resources of participating schools through hardcover book donations, train parents on how to continue the benefits of the reading clubs at home, and provide an enriching and rewarding volunteer opportunity to community members.

To have your story published, click our submission page Just Do Good Submission Page.

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