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Arise2Read need more volunteers to help Memphis-area students read on grade level

About 14% of Shelby County School kids are reading on grade level and at Memphis Achievement School District, less than 5% of students reading on grade level.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — November 30 is Giving Tuesday, a global movement that was established in 2012 to inspire people all over the world to give and celebrate generosity. This day, however, isn't just about donating money, you can also donate your time to organizations that desperately need it so it can continue making an impact in your community. 

Arise2Read is looking for more volunteers so it can continue helping second-grade students learn how to read. Christi Shaeffer, office manager for Arise2Read said about 14% of Shelby County School kids are reading on grade level and at Memphis Achievement School District, less than 5% of students reading at their appropriate grade level.

"Our statistics state that 66% of kids who can't read on grade level by the time they reach the third grade will wind up in prison, on welfare and will not graduate high school," Shaeffer said.

Arise2Read is working around the clock to turn those numbers around but recently had a minor setback. Before COVID, the nonprofit had about 1,400 volunteers. Now, Shaeffer said they have about 415 volunteers. Shaeffer also said Arise2Read was partnered with 41 schools, but because of the falling numbers of volunteers, they had to cut their programs from several schools. Their organization is currently in 24 schools across Shelby county.

"Thirty-seven of those schools have requested that we come back and we just don't have enough volunteers to go to all of those schools{...}," she said. "So that's the reason for giving Tuesday, we are doing a push, not just for a financial reason but to really get those volunteers."

If you want to become a volunteer and help second-grade students learn how to read, you have to go to the organization's website, sign up for a volunteer training date, fill out an application, pass a background check and be ready to commit one hour a week during the school day. 

"It's going to take all of us together to make a real lasting change."

Click here to start the volunteering process.

Why should you volunteer to help a child learn to read? Because only 14% of Shelby County School students (and only FOUR...

Posted by ARISE2Read on Tuesday, November 30, 2021

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