Step Forward looking for literacy volunteers to help students read

Step forward looking for volunteers

SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - If you love kids and have a passion for reading, a local organization is currently search for volunteers for its third grade literacy program.

Step Forward is an organization that helps children in Northwest Louisiana work to obtain success by the age of 25.

Since 2015 the program has provided a literacy program with the goal of helping third graders improved their reading skills.

“If a student is not reading onto their standard grade point by the end of third grade, they’re four times more likely to drop out of high school,” said Community Engagement Cordinator Kirk Reedstrom."

During the 2018-2019 school year Step Forward had 160 literacy volunteers that were able to help nearly 500 students in 29 schools across Northwest Louisiana.

Reedstrom says they are really looking for people who enjoy reading, kids and can commit to visiting with students once a week.

“That consistent experience is one of the most important parts of our volunteer program,” he said. “So a volunteer is going to go to the same classroom, see the same kids and you really form a bond.”

Program helps chidlren with literacy

Reedstrom started out as a literacy volunteer after graduating college a few years ago and really enjoyed his experience.

“My favorite moment was when halfway through the semester I was working with kids who really struggled with their sentences and putting words together,” he said. “You could see it get easier throughout the year, and you could see that they really came to enjoy reading.”

Their next volunteer orientation will be from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, July 25, at the Shreve Memorial Library North Shreveport Branch on 4844 North Market Street.

The orientation will go over a brief history of the program, expectations of what a volunteer will likely experience in the classroom and also discuss best practices.

If you would like to sign up for the volunteer orientation, click here. If you can’t attend the orientation but would like to learn more information about the program you can contact Reedstrom at 318-404-1751 or volunteer@stepforwardnla.org

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