Our strategy is to start younger!

Unfortunately, students who are not strong readers by fourth grade are at risk of education failure. They are more likely to fail courses, disengage and eventually drop out of school. Evidence and research show that providing readers with the extra assistance they need through tutoring is one strategy that works.

United Way of the Lowcountry is tackling today’s problems to reduce tomorrow’s struggles, with an emphasis on improving education, health and income. Our goal is to reduce the dropout rate by 50 percent in 10 years. To reach that, our strategy is to start younger: We are working to ensure that 80 percent of students in every Beaufort and Jasper County elementary school are reading on grade level when they enter fourth grade. By advancing the common good, we create opportunities for a better life for all.

United Way of the Lowcountry is recruiting people with passion, expertise and resources to get the job done. We’re looking for volunteer tutors for students in kindergarten, first, second and third grades at eight area schools. Working with the school teachers, our volunteers will help elementary students master the art of reading so that 80 percent -or more! – read on grade level when they reach fourth grade.

We need 600 tutors able to invest a few hours one day a week in a local school. It’s a great opportunity for young adults, retirees, faith communities and employees to help. You can help a child discover the joy of reading and open a lifetime of learning. United Way of the Lowcountry is kicking off its early-grade tutoring strategy designed to help elementary children boost their reading skills. Your help today will make a difference now and into the future.

Qualifications for tutors include a love of reading and a desire to help children. A good sense of humor comes in handy, too…Appropriate training is provided to all volunteers. Children frequently bond with their tutors, and they look forward to seeing you. For the occasional absence by a tutor, we have a system of trading days with other tutors. This gives some flexibility for scheduling.

Exactly what is involved in the early grade reading initiative? Encouragement, gentle urging to try harder,basic help with sounding out words, reading in context and identifying themes, main characters and plot are some of the keys to tutoring. Showing your own love of reading makes a huge difference!

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