One day each month members of the local Rotary Club visit students in Kindergarten through fourth grade at the Learning Center charter school to read to students.
The Rotary Club is an international service organization whose purpose is to bring together business and professional leaders in order to provide humanitarian service and advance goodwill and peace around the world. One of their causes is to support education and literacy.
The Rotary Club volunteers focus on literacy-based and arts-integrated activities during their visits. The volunteers usually read at least one book to the class. Some months they also participate in a craft or activity that is related to the story that they read.
According the US Department of Education, the single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children. It improves listening skills, expands vocabulary and improves reading comprehension.
“Listening to the nuances in expression and inflection demonstrates to students that there is more to reading than just the printed words on the page,” said Stephanie Hopper, Associate Academic Director at the school. “Modeling the reading process allows students to experience the intricacies of reading that they might not otherwise observe.”
Hopper added that one of the biggest benefits of having the club’s volunteers work with students to improve literacy skills can’t be measured in terms of statistics’. “This program is more than just reading. The impact the Rotarians make on the relationships with our students is the greatest benefit and they look forward to having them on campus every month,” she said.