In recognition of January as National Mentoring Month, Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) of North Central Iowa is celebrating the work of Reading Coach Volunteers. RSVP Reading Coach Volunteers tutor and mentor middle school students to help them improve their literacy skills. In addition to tutoring in reading, volunteers are caring adults in the lives of the students they serve, empowering them to make smart choices that put them on a path to improved life opportunities. The RSVP Reading Coach Program is a certified mentoring program with the State of Iowa.
Quality mentoring programs, like Reading Coach, are proven to build relationships that help improve school attendance and academic achievement, promote responsible decision-making, and provide skills to better navigate relationships at school, socially and at home. A report by MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership found that young adults who were at risk for not completing high school but who had a mentor were:
- 55% more likely to be enrolled in college than those who did not have a mentor.
- 81% more likely to report participating regularly in sports or extracurricular activities.
- More than twice as likely to say they held a leadership position in a club or sports team.
- 78% more likely to volunteer regularly in their communities.
Molly Anderegg, RSVP director, said the need is great for more Reading Coach Volunteers. “I encourage older adults to consider this opportunity and help an adolescent student in their community,” she said. “Each school RSVP partners with has more students in need than available volunteers. Mentoring middle school students can be rewarding and even fun.”
RSVP of North Central Iowa has 21 Reading Coach Volunteers serving this school year as mentors. They meet with students each week to work on literacy skills and often develop strong bonds with students. RSVP would like to thank the following Reading Coach Volunteers for their dedication to youth in North Central Iowa:
Forest City Middle School – Forest City: Judith Anderson, Mary Baxter, Barb Braun, Annette Bruns, Cheryl Burke, Paul Fitzgerald, Cheryl Hanna, Joan Hansen, Ken Hansen, Cynthia Korth, and Mary Schaefer
Lincoln Intermediate School – Mason City: Robin Bratvold, Jack Gannett, Don Gettner, Raymond Heimbuch, Vel Mondahl, and Vicki Robertson
North Iowa Middle School – Buffalo Center: Joe Angstman and Connie Brooks
West Hancock Middle School – Kanawha: Kathy Johnson and Jean Sheets
To become a Reading Coach, or for more information about RSVP of North Central Iowa, visit www.niacc.edu/rsvp/ or contact 1-888-466-4222 ext. 4256, (641) 422-4256 or firstname.lastname@example.org. RSVP of North Central Iowa serves the counties of Cerro Gordo, Franklin, Hancock, Mitchell, Winnebago, and Worth.
RSVP is sponsored by North Iowa Area Community College. It is part of a national network of programs called Senior Corps that recruits adults 55 and older to use their skills, talents, and life experience to help meet community needs through volunteer service. RSVP of North Central Iowa’s primary focus is childhood literacy, including programs such as Reading Coaches. RSVP is partly funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service, State of Iowa, United Way of North Central Iowa and local county governments.
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