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Greenville News 01/28/2013, Page A10

Volunteers Rescue At-Risk Readers

By Maxine Bennett

As part of a team of dedicated volunteers who help young, underprivileged children become better readers, it is with pride that I invite like-minded people to join us as we work to rescue at-risk readers. Our trained tutors work pro-bono, on a one-to-one basis to help children who cannot afford private tutoring to learn to read.

Participating in this program is ideal for people who do not have a background in teaching and who have never been taught how to teach someone to read.

The Augustine Literacy Project in Upstate South Carolina trains tutors using proven teaching techniques. A derivative of the Orton-Gillingham method with teaching materials from the Wilson Reading System are used in this structured program resulting in improved reading ability and classroom work.

The project has operated since 1997 in North Carolina and 2006 in the Upstate. South Carolina currently has 15 tutors working with 18 students in the area.

The Augustine Literacy Project is based on long-term tutoring relationships between volunteers and children. After the two-week training, the tutors work with children for two 45-minute sessions per week at school during the school day.

The tutor works with the student for one full school year, during which improvement of more than one grade level has been seen.

After completing a year of pro-bono tutoring, the tutor is free to market his or her services for a reasonable fee. Many tutors also remain a part of Augustine.

Our motto, "Teach One Child, Change Two Lives" is played out in practically every lesson. The joy expressed by our tutors shows the great satisfaction they get as they help these youngsters. And the beaming smiles on the faces of the children as they realize they can now read, speaks volumes.


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