Executive Director's Note
We’ve had a busy month at ESLC full of laughter, learning and relying on each other to help get the program year off to a great start. Tutoring began on Oct 2, with 281 children participating in four one-on-one tutoring sessions per week. The children, in Kindergarten through third grade, represent the future of our community – the leaders, teachers, business owners, managers, moms and dads. As they learn to read, every day is a journey for our staff and tutors—a journey of support, growth and fun!
During the first week of tutoring, I got to work with a second grader, Jamaya, who did not know all of her letters and sounds. She could not sound out words or use reading strategies to figure out simple texts. Yet, Jamaya still came to tutoring daily with a bright smile. Every day, we worked on reading a simple book. Every day, she took that book home and read it to her mother or one of her older sisters. Her mother signed her reading log every single day.
I soon discovered Jamaya was incredibly attentive, eager and able to make inferences when I read a book to her. I knew she could one day reach her full potential. Each day we worked on a new letter, word and reading strategy in the lesson. After several days of tutoring, she began using simple strategies to read. She sounded out small words and was memorizing key site words.
I hope you can see your impact in Jamaya's story. I can. During that first week of tutoring, I got to see how each of you is making a difference for one child, one lesson, one book, one word, one letter at a time.
At another site, Kindergartner May told her tutor, “You know, I have to tell you. I really don’t know how to read.” May did not know even half of her letters, but her tutor said, “I bet if we keep trying, you will be able to read a least a little bit of this book by the end of today’s lesson.”
May responded, “Well, you’re gonna have to help me a lot!”
The tutor began reading while pointing to each word, “I see scissors.” She turned the page, “I see crayons.” She turned the page.
May said, “I see books.” She began to read each page, pointing at the words as the tutor had done.
“I can’t believe it,” May burst out. “I just read that book!... Can I read it again?”
I thank you, our contributors for making it possible for May and Jamaya to increase their confidence and their love of reading. I honor you, our more than 200 volunteers who are tutoring every week to help children like May and Jamaya learn to read with pride and joy by third grade.
ESLC Executive Director